The National Cancer Institute has awarded the Arizona Cancer Center a $2.1 million training grant for the next five years, a release indicates.

The grant “utilizes the strengths of research faculty at the University of Arizona who direct their efforts toward the understanding of cancer causation, prevention and treatment, to train future cancer researchers,” it continues.

The training grant has been competitively renewed by the Arizona Cancer Center since 1978, when the center’s Eugene Gerner,  director of the Center’s Gastrointestinal Cancer Program, was the first principal investigator for the grant. In April 1992, G. Tim Bowden, the center’s chief science officer, became principal investigator for the T32 Training Grant, and has since submitted the last three competitive renewals.

“The renewal of this training grant, which we have had at the Arizona Cancer Center for 30 years, means that we can continue to train the next generation of cancer researchers who will contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer,” said Dr. Bowden, who is also chair of the Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program.

The GIDP, which grew as part of the training grant, has been in existence since 1988, when the Arizona Board of Regents formally approved it. The GIDP leads to a doctorate degree in cancer biology. This program offers graduate students “the ability to interact with both basic scientists and clinical researchers,” the release said. “They can then establish themselves as independent investigators who will pursue research into the origins and treatment of cancer.”

“What is special about this grant is the opportunity it gives to graduate students,” said program coordinator Anne Cione. “With the help of this grant, our graduates have gone on to be professors, heads of their own cancer biology programs and researchers in industry.”

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