Training Grants Awarded for Nanobiotechnology
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The National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have announced a collaboration that will establish integrative training environments for U.S.science and engineering doctoral students to focus on interdisciplinary nanoscience and technology research with applications to cancer.
Through this partnership, $12.8 million in grants are being awarded to four institutions over the next five years.
The application of nanotechnology to cancer requires cross-disciplinary training in biological and physical sciences, and at present there are not enough individuals with such training.
The NCI's Cancer Nanotechnology Plan and the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer identified the need for such a cross-trained scientific workforce as essential to 21st century research and development.
"In recognition of the potential of nanotechnology to overcome challenges in cancer research, we have undertaken a major commitment to the field through the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer.
The NCI-NSF collaboration and other training and education programs are a vital part of that Alliance, enabling us to build a cadre of appropriately cross-trained investigators without whom we cannot envision development of a pipeline of new diagnostics and therapeutics," said Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., director of the National Cancer Institute.
"These awards represent an exciting new model for collaboration between federal agencies that not only makes wise use of budget resources, but also opens new channels for bringing promising new technologies to bear on an important health problem that touches nearly all of us," said NSF Deputy Director Kathie L. Olsen, Ph.D.
The awards are granted through NSF's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program (IGERT). The IGERT program is intended to facilitate greater diversity in student participation and preparation and contribute to the development of a diverse, globally-engaged science and engineering workforce.
All of the four selected projects, each of which will support approximately 30 students, are linked to regional cancer centers and the biomedical research community
Along with other NCI training grants being awarded this month, the NCI-NSF awards address the full spectrum of training and education needs at graduate school, postdoctoral, and mid-career levels highlighted as priorities in the NCI's Cancer Nanotechnology Plan. The award program will be jointly overseen by NSF and by NCI through the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer.