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The UNC Lineberger-sponsored conference featured several UNC-affiliated faculty and graduates.

Cancer biology department chairs, grant directors, faculty, administrators, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows gathered in North Carolina recently for the annual 2013 Cancer Biology Training Consortium (CABTRAC) fall retreat.

Established in 2005, CABTRAC is dedicated to training the next generation of cancer researchers. The consortium works closely with more than 40 institutions nationwide, including the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Training Branch.

The annual retreat is a forum to discuss new training concepts and trends, share information on how to develop training programs and apply for and renew grants, including NCI T32 training grants for early career cancer researchers.

Organized this year by Channing Der, PhD, UNC Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor and 2012-13 president of CABTRAC, the conference featured many UNC Lineberger-affiliated faculty and graduates, including many researchers and other members of the scientific community trained at UNC Lineberger.

Norman Sharpless, MD, deputy director of UNC Lineberger, served as the keynote speaker. Beginning with an intriguing title: “Aging: How Not to Get Cancer,” he highlighted correlations between aging and cancer, illustrating new avenues for collaboration in this area.


The next morning, a career session led by a panel of PhDs trained at UNC Lineberger demonstrated some of the many paths one can take upon completion of a doctorate in cancer-related biomedical sciences.

UNC Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Pharmacology Dr. Adrienne Cox then led a panel discussion addressing the mechanics of applying for and renewing T32 training grants and working with the NCI. The session was very well received, quickly becoming a group discussion with questions, comments and experiences shared from the floor.

Founded in 1975 by then UNC Lineberger Director Joseph Pagano, PhD, UNC Lineberger’s postdoctoral T32 was one of the first training grants funded by the NCI and has been continuously funded since that time.