Prostate Cancer Postdoctoral Training Program
Prostate cancer research at Cedars-Sinai encompasses everything from molecular genetics, biochemical analyses and comparative animal research, to clinical investigation, therapeutic trials and health services research.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in males in the U.S., with 174,650 new cases and 31,620 deaths estimated in 2019. There is great promise in prevention, early detection, distinction of indolent and aggressive disease, and novel treatments. Many unmet clinical needs require better understanding of:
- Prostate cancer genomics and signaling
- How the tumor interacts with its microenvironment
- The development of novel therapeutics strategies
- Understanding risk factors
- Variations in treatment patterns that lead to optimal care delivery
About Our Training
Each postdoctoral fellow (MD, PhD, or MD/PhD) is expected to develop transdisciplinary research efforts to understand an aspect of prostate cancer biology, disease intervention, or prevention. The program takes advantage of the cutting-edge technologies and the wide range of prostate cancer research efforts available at Cedars-Sinai. This broad-based training program enables trainees to write high impact publications and competitive grant proposals that will help them establish successful research careers in academia, academic medicine, governmental agencies, and in the private sector.
Trainees entering the program have a primary mentor and, potentially, a secondary mentor. The requested primary mentor must be approved by the Steering Committee before being assigned. Trainees, with advice from their primary mentors, identify a mentoring committee of at least three faculty. The goal is to cut across traditional boundaries of prostate cancer research.
The training program provides:
- Experience in research training, including experimental design, advanced methodology, data interpretation, asking the next question, etc.
- Didactic courses in statistics, bioethics, and grantsmanship to complement the research training.
- Opportunities to present and publish research findings and with the critical input needed to improve and hone written and communication skills.
- Ability to attend meetings and network with peers and established scientists and clinicians.
- Experience to develop and understand how research efforts will directly impact patient care.
- Formal mentorship and exposure to NIH peer-review process through grants review simulation.
- Career guidance to facilitate development into leading academic researchers.
How to Apply
We are looking for highly motivated trainees for our Prostate Cancer Training Program T32 supported by the NCI/NIH. Our primary objective is to help fellows become productive research scientists capable of establishing independent scientific careers in prostate cancer research.
The program welcomes PhD or MD candidates with experience directly relevant to molecular, metabolic, and cellular aspects of cancer research, patient care, or health services research.
To apply for T32 support, the prospective trainee must submit:
- A specific aims page of the prospective research
- NIH Biosketch
- A letter of support from the Training Program Faculty
Interviews are by invitation. Cedars-Sinai doesn't discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, or national or ethnic origin.
Additional Program Information
Types of Research
We conduct prostate cancer research in 3 main areas:
- Translational research – Trainees learn various basic biological tools including options from genomics, bioinformatics, and tumor host-microenvironment to better understand basic prostate cancer biology and how to translate these findings to the clinic.
- Clinical research – Trainees learn the skills to successfully develop and lead clinical trials, from minimally invasive trials, such as lifestyle, decisional support tools, or novel imaging, to trials of anti-neoplastic agents, such as immunotherapy, chemotherapy and novel targeted therapies.
- Health services research – Trainees learn the latest tools within health services research to understand variations in care and outcomes. They also study predictors of outcomes and how to use these findings to develop optimized care pathways and identify novel intervention opportunities to improve prostate cancer management.
Working side-by-side in research activities with our faculty mentors, trainees are also expected to attend seminars, mentoring committee meetings, and didactic course work in Responsible Conduct in Research and Statistics in Medical Research. Trainees also participate in workshops on Grant Proposal Writing and Career Development. They attend weekly seminars by invited speakers, our internationally recognized faculty, and other post-doctoral trainees. At least once each year, trainees present their own research. By the end of 2 years of support, trainees are required to submit an extramural grant with enough data generated for at least one primary publication.
The genitourinary cancer tumor boards include medical, surgical, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and many other disciplines, as well as fellows. Patient cases, radiology images, and pathology results are reviewed and experts recommend the best course of treatment and a care plan is developed.
Prostate cancer clinical trials underway at Cedars-Sinai explore various facets of the disease, including possible new treatment options—from surgery to radiation—as well as new diagnostic, imaging and genetic-based advancements.
The mentors of this unique and collaborative training program are committed to training young scientists in interdisciplinary translational research. The faculty, at the forefront of prostate cancer research and patient care, are united in recruiting and training talented minds that will perform interdisciplinary research at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.
He introduced the concept of paracrine-mediated tumor initiation, particularly resulting from alterations in TGF-ß signaling. He has mentored 23 research trainees; 13 now in faculty positions in the past decade. Twelve of the trainees gained extramural postdoctoral funding.
He is a Urologist with a clinical focus on prostate cancer and Department of Defense supported research on age and co-morbidity of prostate cancer patients. His research also includes treatment decision-making for early stage prostate cancer. He is the Director of Health Services Research for the Cedars-Sinai Department of Surgery. He is an In-Training mentor.
Her group has developed the tools to selectively purify large oncosomes from other types of extracellular vesicles and has obtained evidence that large oncosomes convey novel biological information within the tumor microenvironment.
As the scientific director of the Urologic Oncology Program at Cedars-Sinai Cancer, his work within the lab focuses on genetic and epigenetic mechanisms behind prostate cancer. The lab’s goal is to identify novel genomic and epigenomic mechanisms that will lead to the discovery of biomarkers and therapeutic targets for clinical testing, with a specific focus on tumor and immune cell lineage plasticity in prostate cancer driven by the loss; the tumor suppressor protein retinoblastoma-1 (RB), and collaboration with the histone modifying enzyme enhancer of zeste homolog-2 (EZH2).
A urologist who studies risk stratification, health disparities, and the role of lifestyle and obesity on prostate cancer. He directs the Center for Integrated Research in Cancer and Lifestyle and is the associate director for faculty development. He has >500 papers and has trained 16 fellows (9 have faculty positions) and multiple junior faculty.
His lab studies mechanisms of prostate cancer progression, including the use of bioinformatics resources to define prostate tumor status to guide therapeutic decisions. He has trained 7 independent faculty members in the past 10 years, with over 35 faculty in his career.
He is Chief of Academic Urology at Cedars-Sinai. His clinical practice focuses on treating prostate cancer and other urological cancers. His laboratory develops strategies for stimulating a cancer immune response and developing imaging tools for diagnostics. He has trained 10 fellows, with 1 currently in an academic faculty position.
Practicing GU Oncologist with laboratory-based research focused on signal transduction inhibitor therapy for metastatic prostate cancer. As Uro-oncology program medical director, he facilitates investigators in the program to translate basic and clinical findings alike. He has trained 4 fellows, each of whom received extramural support.
Alumni and Trainees
- Manish Thiruvalluvan
- Brad Gallent
Cedars-Sinai is located in Los Angeles where our students can live and learn in one of the nation's most dynamic and energetic cities among a culturally and ethnically diverse population.
Have Questions or Need Help?
Contact us if you have questions or would like to learn more about Cedars-Sinai Prostate Cancer NIH Funded Training Program.
Neil Bhowmick, PhD
Professor and Co-Director of Cancer Biology
8750 Beverly Blvd., Atrium Building Rm 103
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Stephen Freedland, MD
Professor and Co-Director of Prevention and Control
8500 Beverly Blvd., East Tower
Los Angeles, CA 90048