About the Training

Goals

Success of cancer nanomedicine depends on scientists with a cross-disciplinary background in nanotechnology, cancer biology and clinical medicine. Our goal is to equip a cohort of outstanding young scientists with the multidisciplinary concepts and skills to improve cancer diagnosis and therapy based on concepts, tools and discoveries made in nanoscience and nanotechnology. The Carolina Cancer Nanotechnology Training Program (C-CNTP) has a very strong and balanced network of experienced researchers and mentors in chemistry, material and pharmaceutical sciences joined by experts in cancer biology, pharmacology, genetics, and informatics as well as clinician scientists engaged in cancer nanotechnology research. The CCNTP is supported by the NIH/NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer grant T32 CA196589.

Elements of CCNTP Training

  • A robust postdoctoral experience including focused didactic training and an intense cross-disciplinary mentored cancer nanotechnology research experience with established senior faculty mentors from complementary fields.
  • Individualized cross-disciplinary education using innovative instructional tools.
  • Intensive training with Integrated Learning Accelerating Module in conjunction with flipped classrooms during the initial period in the program to remediate differences in backgrounds.
  • Workshops and didactic courses during the subsequent training period to deepen knowledge and understanding in key areas of cancer nanotechnology research, advanced technology and translational science aspects. Each workshop will be approximately equivalent to a one credit graduate course and trainees will be expected to complete at least three workshops during two years of training. The background and interests of the trainee along with the advice of the faculty mentors will guide the choice of the workshops and courses.
  • Opportunities to conduct original cancer nanotechnology research projects, applications for cancer nanotechnology pilot grants within C-CNTP and other grants available at UNC-Chapel Hill. All trainees will submit proposals for external funding in the second year of training (e.g., K99/R00, K23, K08, DoD).
  • Writing and proposal submissions that build written and oral communications skills needed to publish manuscripts in scholarly journals, report results at scientific meetings, and write successful individual extramural support applications focused on problems of cancer nanotechnology.

Individual Development Plans

Individual Development Plan (IDP) documents for postdoctoral trainees provide a framework that identifies both professional development needs and career objectives for the trainee. IDPs help the postdoc to identify both short-term goals and help define milestones along the way to achieving specific long-term objectives. IDPs also serve as a communication tool between postdoctoral scholars and their mentors.

 

Program Administration:

The program directors provide oversight of the C-CNTP and are responsible for implementation of all NIH policies, procedures, and processes. They oversee the C-CNTP functions, create the C-CNTP program structure, take the lead in the mentoring program, and provide vision and scientific leadership.

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Alexander Kabanov, Ph.D., D.Sci.

Principal Investigator and Program Director

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Andy Wang, M.D.

Associate Director


Administrative Support:

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Kirsten Leysieffer, M.A.

Training Program Coordinator

Sabrina Powell, Ph.D.

Instructional Design and Support Consultant

 

External Advisory Committee:

The EAC selected by the program directors is composed of international scientists representing the key areas of the C-CNTP. The committee provides an independent assessment of the program’s effectiveness. This committee will also provide input regarding national trends in cancer nanotechnology training, and evaluating the UNC program in comparison with other US programs.

Gabriel Lopez-Berestein, M.D. is a Professor of Medicine, Cancer Biology, and Experimental Therapeutics, at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. He is also a Professor of NanoMedicine and Biomedical Engineering and had served a co-director of Texas Center for Cancer Nanomedicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Lopez-Berestein is a clinician-scientist well known for his studies of the role of the monocyte lineage and cell signaling in cancer and development of nanoparticle-based therapeutics in cancer and infectious diseases. He has trained more than 100 graduate students and postdocs and served a PI of a T32 training Grant in Bioimmunotherapy for Physician Scientists and a U54 Partnership in Excellence for Cancer Research.
Mark W. Dewhirst, D.V.M., Ph.D. is the Gustavo S. Montana Professor of Radiation Oncology and Vice Director for Basic Science in the Duke Cancer Institute. Dr. Dewhirst has spent 30 years studying causes of tumor hypoxia, the use of hyperthermia and drug delivery to treat cancer. For seminal contributions to these fields he has been named a fellow of AAPS and ASTRO and awarded an ASTRO Gold Medical. Dewhirst has trained over 50 graduate students, postdocs and junior faculty many of whom have obtained DOD and NIH fellowships, K awards and first R01 grants. He received “Mentor of the Year” awards from Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Medical Physics Graduate Training programs and the School of Medicine, and has served Associate Dean of Faculty Mentoring in the Duke School of Medicine.
Andrei Gudkov, Ph.D., Dr.Sci. is the Garman Family Professor and Chair in Cell Stress Biology, and Senior Vice President of Basic Science at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). His research interests include various aspects of gene- and drug-discovery in oncology with specific focus on mechanisms of deregulation and pharmacological targeting of major stress response pathways in cancer. He pioneered several approaches to protection of normal tissues from the side effects of cancer treatment by radiation and chemotherapy, including the development of p53 and NF-kB modulators. He has trained over 50 graduate and postdoctoral students and is a PI on the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant that provides mentoring and pilot funding to junior investigators at RPCI
Paula Hammond, Ph.D. is the David H. Koch Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests include the molecular design and synthesis of self-assembling polymeric systems for a range of electro-optical, electro-mechanical and biological applications. In cancer research, she has focused on the generation of polymer-based films and nanoparticles for drug delivery. She has numerous research and service awards including the Harvard Foundation 2010 Scientist of the Year Award as part of the annual Albert Einstein Science Conference: Advancing Minorities and Women in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Chad A. Mirkin, Ph.D. is the Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology, the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry, of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Medicine at the Northwestern University. Mirkin is also a Director of the Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence at the Northwestern University. He is a world-renowned nanoscience expert known for his development of nanoparticle-based biodetection schemes, the invention of Dip-Pen Nanolithography, and contributions to supramolecular chemistry. Mirkin is the Member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology and one of only 15 scientists who have been elected to all three US National Academies..

Internal Steering Committee:

The Internal Steering Committee (ISC) will be the key functional group for the C-CNTP. The ISC will comprise senior leaders at UNC Chapel Hill with active research and training interests in areas relevant to cancer nanotechnology.

The ISC’s will oversee the C-CNTP research and training activities and provide systematic internal evaluation of the program and administrative advice. They will guide the overall functioning of C-CNTP including:

  1. Nomination and selection of trainees;
  2. Approval of mentor/co-mentor pairings and mentoring committee’s appointments;
  3. Nomination and selection process for new faculty for the C-CNTP;
  4. Advising on C-CNTP courses and workshops and choice of faculty to conduct the workshops;
  5. Monitoring progress of trainees including annual presentations to the ISC;
  6. Evaluating the overall training program and assisting the PI in reporting to the NCI. The ISC will meet with the EAC to receive its report and recommendations on an annual basis as part of the program evaluation process.
Nancy Allbritton, M.D, Ph.D. is a Debreczeny Distinguished Professor and Chair of UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, Director, Curriculum of Applied Science and Engineering.
H. Shelton Earp, III, M.D. is a Lineberger Professor of Cancer Research, Director, UNC Cancer Care, Professor of Medicine & Pharmacology, UNC LCCC.
Stephen Frye, Ph.D. is a Professor and Director of the Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
Joel E. Tepper, M.D. is a Hector MacLean Distinguished Professor of Cancer Research at the UNC School of Medicine and the co-director of the C-CCNE.
Jenny Ting, Ph.D. is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Director of the Center for Translational Immunology and co-director of the Institute of Inflammatory Diseases at UNC Chapel Hill.
Alexander Tropsha, Ph.D. is a K.H. Lee Distinguished Professor of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
Cancer Nanotechnology Program Faculty Mentors

The program faculty represent a distinguished group of scholars with an impressive record of productivity and extramural funding success and training accomplishments. Program faculty will play critical roles in the C-CNTP. This includes service as a primary mentor or co-mentor, and teaching contributions to workshops, courses and seminars. Both primary and co-mentorship imply a significant commitment of time and effort on the part of the faculty member.

The Carolina Cancer Nanotechnology Training Program and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are committed to the principles of diversity and equal opportunity and are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of people, including minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

The Carolina Cancer Nanotechnology Training Program is committed to providing reasonable accommodations. Individuals with disabilities seeking additional information about services available on the UNC campus may visit these sites: