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CSU Receives $1 Million Grant to Create New Graduate Program in Cancer Biology
Colorado State University has received a $1 million gift to start a cancer biology program of study within the University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The graduate program, based in the Flint Animal Cancer Center (ACC), will become the first of its kind in the country. The anonymous donor requested that the gift be used to fund curriculum development and be administered through the Morris Animal Foundation.
"This gift allows the University to provide educational and research opportunities for students in a field where few opportunities to learn are available today," said Dr. Lance Perryman, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "The understanding of cancer at the whole animal, cellular and molecular level is critical to our ability to continue to successfully solve problems related to prevention, treatment and diagnosis of cancer."
The program will train scientists whose focus is on the basic science of the causes and prevention of cancer, in addition to cancer diagnosis, therapies and risk assessment. Funding for the program will be matched by the ACC.
"We have done a great job for years in training clinical oncologists to work in the worldwide market," said Dr. Stephen Withrow, Director of the ACC. "The creation of the first Veterinary Cancer Biology program will train the next generation of clinical scientists to teach, mentor and do cancer research. This gift invests in the future of comparative veterinary oncology."
The program will consist of five courses in basic cancer biology and will be integrated as an area of specialization within graduate studies in the cell and molecular biology concentration, which is an interdisciplinary graduate degree program that incorporates classes across four colleges. To obtain a PhD degree in the program, students must complete 72 credit hours in courses such as biochemistry, science and ethics, disease epidemiology and advanced cell biology and molecular genetics. Students also will complete new courses including cancer genetics, environmental carcinogenesis and clinical oncology.
"Morris Animal Foundation is pleased to distribute the funds and provide oversight for this worthy training program," said Dr. Patricia Olson, President and CEO of Morris Animal Foundation. "Our expert scientific advisory boards will ensure the donor that progress is optimal. By matching donors to good science, we believe that the cause of cancer in dogs can be found. Scientists have powerful, new tools now that the canine genome has been sequenced. With the support of Morris Animal Foundation, new researchers will be trained to find answers to age-old questions."