Cancer Biology & Genomics (CBG)

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Program Director: Baruch Frenkel, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. program in Cancer Biology and Genomics (CBG) focuses on training investigators in strategies to understand the mechanisms of cancer development and progression which includes cell biological and genomic approaches. The ultimate objective is to translate basic findings into diagnostics, treatments and ultimate cures. The program applies a multidisciplinary approach toward these goals, with the full realization that cancers in different organs represent different diseases. However all cancers relate to uncontrolled cell proliferation with many cancers having a strong genetic predisposition. Consequently, the breadth of medically related interests and training are major features of this program and wide and varied skills in many research areas as it relates to cancer characterize the faculty. To facilitate the application of multidisciplinary approaches to make cancer a disease of the past, close and regular contact between participating faculty of different disciplines and students is a major theme of this Ph.D. program.

CBG Course Requirements

Degree Unit Requirement:          60 units

PIBBS Requirement:                     Completion of PIBBS required core curriculum (25 units)

Required CBG Courses:

  • CBG 580 – Topics in Cancer Biology and Genomics (2-4 units)
  • INTD 504 – 504 Molecular Biology of Cancer (4 units)
  • INTD 600 – Student Research Presentation (1 unit) – Year 3 and beyond, every fall and spring semester
  • CBG 790 – Research (varies)
  • CBG 794ab – Doctoral Dissertation (at least 4 units)

Complete 4 units from the following:

  • INTD 549 – Protein Chemistry – Structure and Function (4 units)
  • INTD 685 – Bioinformatics in Genome Analysis (4 unit)
  • PM 512 – Principles of Epidemiology (4 units)
  • PM 517ab – Research Methods in Epidemiology 3 units)
  • PM 533 – Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology (3 units)
  • PM 534 – Statistical Genetics (4 units)
  • PM 570 – Statistical Methods in Human Genetics (4 units)
  • PM 579 – Statistical Analysis of High-Dimensional Data (4 units)
  • MPTX 500 – Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology I (4 units)

Qualifying Exam:
Students must pass both the written and oral portions of the qualifying exam during the second year of study. The written portion will require students to write a research grant proposal, in a format modeled after an NIH F31 grant. The oral defense portion will include both a formal presentation of the grant proposal, as well as an open forum in which the guidance committee asks general questions related to the student’s research.

Student’s research is reported in a dissertation written under the guidance of the student’s mentor and dissertation committee. The dissertation must demonstrate the student’s capacity for independent research, scholarly achievement and technical mastery of a special field.

CBG Program Learning Objectives