The Cancer Biology MTA: Program Requirements

The Cancer Biology Program trains skilled molecular and cellular biologists to pursue careers in cancer research. Students study cancer gene signaling pathways, development and differentiation, invasion and metastasis, and focus on diseases such as breast or prostate cancer, leukemia and melanoma.

Cancer Biology (CAB) students complete advanced course work in both basic and clinical cancer biology. We challenge our students to consider how their research may be translated into improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

By using faculty from throughout Mount Sinai, we ensure that our students' research is both comprehensive in scope and related to the practical issues faced by physicians.

Program requirements

Our cancer biology MTA program requirements include:

  • Completion of Biomedical Sciences I and II, and two courses specific to cancer biology (Advanced Topics in Tumor Biology, Advanced Topics in Cancer Biology), as well as all graduate school curriculum requirements.
  • Completion of at least two rotations, then choosing a mentor who will guide them through the preparation of their dissertation and their thesis defense.
  • Participation in the cancer biology seminar series, which brings leading cancer researchers to Icahn School of Medicine to present their research. Students both attend the seminar and meet as a group with the speakers.
  • Participation in the Cancer Journal Club during all their years of training. The Cancer Journal Club provides a forum for students to present their ongoing work to other CAB students and postdoctoral fellows.

Course descriptions

Advanced Topics in Cancer Biology
Course number: BSR6201
Credits: 1-3 credits
Course director: James J. Manfredi, PhD
Semester: Spring
Meeting times: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10:00-11:30 AM

Advanced Topics in Cancer Biology is a three-module course in which students may take one, two, or all three modules for credit. Each module is worth one credit. Modules consist of journal article-based student presentations in areas of basic molecular and cellular biology relevant to cancer. This semester-long course lasts 15 weeks.

In 2011, the topics were as follows:

  • Module I: Ubiquitin Signaling in Tumor Cells
  • Module II: Animal Models of Cancer
  • Module III: p53 Pathway in Cancer

Advanced Topics in Tumor Biology
Course number: BSR6202
Credits: 1-3 credits
Course director: Matthew O'Connell, PhD
Semester: Fall
Meeting times: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10:00-11:30 AM

Advanced Topics in Tumor Biology is a three-module course in which students may take one, two, or all three modules for credit. Each module is a credit course consisting of journal article-based student presentations in topics relevant to tumor biology. The focus is on tumorigenesis. This semester-long course lasts 15 weeks.

Journal Club in Cancer Biology
Course number: BSR4201
Credits: 1 credit
Course director: Matthew O'Connell, PhD
Semester: Fall and Spring
Meeting times: Mondays, 5:00-6:00 PM

Seminar Series in Oncological Sciences
Course number: BSR5201
Credits: 1 credit
Course director: Matthew O'Connell, PhD
Semester: Fall and Spring
Meeting times: Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM

Cancer Biology Work in Progress (Cancer Club)
Course number: BSR5202
Credits: 1 credit
Course director: James J. Manfredi, PhD
Semester: Fall and Spring
Meeting times: Thursdays, 5:00-6:00 PM

Each student has the opportunity to present his or her research at least once during the academic year.