The Tisch Cancer Institute

Training and Education

Cancer Research Career Enhancement and Related Activities Core

The mission of The Tisch Cancer Institute (TCI) Cancer Research Career Enhancement and Related Activities Core (CRCE) is to develop future leaders in cancer research and treatment advancements through enhanced and coordinated cancer research education and related opportunities. The TCI’s broad training continuum that leverages the strengths of Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine (ISMMS)Graduate School of Biomedical SciencesOffice for Diversity and Inclusion, and Clinical Translational Science Award Program (CTSA) uniquely positions us to launch and further the careers of emerging and established cancer researcher professionals. 

In partnership with the Center for Excellence in Youth Education (CEYE) and the Patricia S. Levinson Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs (CMCA), both with Mount Sinai’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, the TCI provides funding for two of 10 high school students selected to participate in the highly-competitive Lloyd Sherman Scholars Program (a two-year program designed to engage Black and Latino High School young men in biomedical science enrichment activities, fostering laboratory research skills, an interest in science, and development of a scientist identity). The program for the two students funded through TCI includes mentorship by TCI faculty in their research laboratories. Coursework early in the program (prior to laboratory placement) will soon incorporate curricular expansion in Cancer Biology and Cancer Medicine, designed to enhance the students’ research laboratory experience.

The Tisch Cancer Institute Medical Student Research Fellowship provides summer research stipends for medical students at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to conduct original cancer research in clinical, translational, basic, epidemiological, or health services disciplines. The fellowships are for medical students completing their first year who have not yet had extensive research experience. The intent is that the students’ research, under the tutelage of a faculty member, will lead to a scholarly research year between the students’ third and fourth years, setting the foundation for a future career in cancer research. The student’s potential for a research career, including pursuit of an extended research project, as well as the mentor’s enthusiasm to support the student in such an endeavor, are important components of the application for this fellowship award. 


The ECDC committee provides a forum to harness the wealth of scientific and mentoring capabilities of the TCI faculty and positively impact and advance the research potential of promising students, as well as emerging cancer investigators.  The committee is charged with identifying important gaps in knowledge of the broader TCI research community in regard to specific malignant disease pathogenesis and disparities related to our community and to develop novel curricular activities to address these needs.

Three ECDC subcommittees provide strategic guidance and recommendations concerning specific constituents within the community of TCI trainees, and inform the mission, policies, program development, and targeted investments of the ECDC.


Nina Bickell, MD, MPH

James Ferrara, MD

Janice Gabrilove, MD

Doris Germain, PhD

Lisa Gaynes

Jenny Lin, MD, MPH

Brett Miles, DDS, MD

Umut Ozbeck, PhD

Richard Bakst, MD

Eileen Scigliano, MD

Alison Snow, PhD, MSW

Augusto Villanueva, PhD

Karen Wilson, MD, MPH

The ECDC Subcommittee on Diversity provides recommendations to best advocate for and foster the recruitment and retention of talented, underrepresented minority cancer researchers and promote evidence-based knowledge about cancer disparities among TCI investigators. The committee is charged with:

  • Championing a diverse cancer research biomedical workforce, reflecting the ethnic and racial demographics of our community
  • Partnering with and leveraging institutional efforts and expertise specifically designed to diversify the cancer research biomedical workforce
  • Collaborating with Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) and the Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) Institutional National Research Service Award (T32) to educate cancer researchers about the impact of race and ethnicity as relevant variables in malignant disease and disparities of care
  • Advancing recruitment and retention of talented underrepresented minority (URM) investigators through exposure to accomplished role models in cancer research
  • Operating the TCI Diversity Seminar Series focused on health disparities and research


Brian Brown, PhD

Jerry Chipuk, PhD

Janice Gabrilove, MD

Cathie Pfleger, PhD

Cardinale Smith, MD, PhD


The ECDC subcommittee on Cancer Biology PhD candidates in Biomedical Science facilitates the delineation of needed educational enhancement activities to further advance career development of Cancer Biology PhD candidates. The ECDC Research Advisory Subcommittee charged with advancing career development of physician scientist cancer researchers.

Stuart Aaronson, MD
Doris Germain, PhD
James Manfredi, PhD
Matthew O’Connell, PhD

The Clinical Encounters Program for PhD cancer biology (CAB) students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine is designed for students to gain insight and motivation from interactions with patients; learn to communicate about their research in lay-friendly language; and gain a better understanding of clinical disease manifestations and treatment plans.  Students are matched with a clinician mentor, based on disease interest, observe a clinician-guided patient encounter, and participate in a faculty-facilitated post-encounter debriefing.  Educational objectives include an emphasis on the impact of recent scientific discovery on diagnosis, disease classification, and treatment; and identification of areas of unmet need related to biomarkers, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

Experiences are reflected in this video.