Cancer Biology Pathway


This Pathway is open to Ph.D. students from any Program in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences. Selection will be made from students entering their 2nd and 3rd years of graduate training. Students will be selected from laboratories of Siteman Cancer Center members, and chosen by a panel selected by the Siteman Cancer Center Basic Science Leadership Committee. The funding start date will be September 1, 2017.

Information for all

Predoctoral trainees will register for a Special Topics Course (Dr. Lee Ratner, Course Master), an overview course of cancer biology examining a different topic each week in molecular, cell biological or immunological aspects of cancer biology.

The second Special Topics Core (Dr. David Wilson, Course Master) is a course of in-depth analysis of basic and clinical aspects of cancer biology, with a particular emphasis on pediatric oncology. This course has been offered in alternate spring semesters. Pre doctoral trainees will participate each fall as registered-for-credit in one of the following journal clubs.

  • Experimental Hematopoiesis Journal Club
  • Cancer Biology Journal Club
  • Hematology & Oncology Journal Club
  • Student-Run Cell Biology Journal Club
  • Cytoskeleton Discussion Group
  • Cell Biology of Extracellular Matrix Journal Club
  • Molecular Mechanism of Aging
  • RNA Biology Journal Club
  • Chromatin, Epigenetics, Nuclear Organization Journal Club
  • Structural Biology Journal Club
  • Human Genetics Journal Club
  • Cancer Informatics Journal Club
  • Other journal clubs with the approval of Dr. Lee Ratner

Applicants cannot currently be supported by an NIH training grant

Pre doctoral Application

Complete application must include:

  • Clearly list that you are applying for the pre doctoral Cancer Biology Pathway
  • Name, social security number or birth date, address, academic program and year, citizenship, and racial/ethnic background
  • Contact information (e-mail and telephone)
  • CV or resume
  • Name of the Siteman Cancer Center laboratory in which the student is or will be working
  • One paragraph description of why the student is interested in the program
  • One page description of the students Ph.D. dissertation goals
  • Recommendation letter from the faculty sponsor
  • Recommendation letters from two other faculty members who served as laboratory rotation mentors
  • Clear photocopy of student’s Washington University identification badge
  • Dates of completion of qualifying and preliminary dissertation examinations

Applications should be emailed by June 9, 2017 to: Carrie Wehking,

For questions about the program, e-mail Carrie Wehking;

Course: Bio 5196 Special Emphasis Pathway in Cancer Biology

This spring semester course is designed to present pre- and postdoctoral trainees with an organized educational format to explore major contemporary topics in cancer biology. The elective will provide an integrated view of cancer research including basic science, translational science, and clinical investigation. Approximately 60 minutes will be devoted to a didactic presentation by a faculty member with interaction by the participants. The remaining 30 minutes will be used to discuss a pivotal research paper from this field, pre-selected by the faculty member. Outside reading (30-60 min/week) will be required. 2 units.

Outlines of previous Cancer Biology Pathway course topics can be found below: