PhD in Translational Cancer Biology Program Overview

In addition to education in traditional cancer biology, you can explore cancer genomics, symptom science, cancer immunology, and cancer pharmacogenomics alongside our world-renowned researchers.

Required courses

During the first semester of Year 1, you’ll complete a group of core courses covering basic principles of cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology.

If you plan to pursue your PhD in translational cancer biology, you’ll also complete three eight-week laboratory research rotations during Year 1.

During the second semester and Year 2, you’ll begin taking courses that will determine your eligibility for PhD support, including cancer biology, genetics, research ethics, and statistics.

Elective courses

Through your choice of electives, you’ll focus on specific areas of cancer biology, including molecular genetics, bioinformatics, population sciences, tumor immunology, genomics/pharmacogenomics, symptom science, and tumor microenvironment.

During clinical training, you’ll shadow medical and surgical oncologists to experience how bench-side research translates to patient treatment and outcomes.

You'll have career enhancement support via seminars and programs available through the cancer center,  IU School of Medicine, and the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.

Opportunities will include:

  • Weekly Grand Rounds;
  • Grant and science writing workshops;
  • Academic and industrial career workshops;
  • A workshop on diverse career options for biomedical scientists; and
  • A mentoring program.

You’ll also have access to individual assistance with career exploration, career planning, and job search preparation.

Life sciences companies in Indiana employ 56,000 Hoosiers.


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