Cancer Biology Pathway

Please note that the Cancer Biology Pathway is separate from the Cancer Biology PhD Program, which may be found at:

We are excited to announce a new Edward P. Evans Postdoctoral Position for Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) research. Interested postdocs should complete the Cancer Biology Pathway application, indicate their interest, and describe their MDS research project. Please note: the MDS position covers $26,800 in stipend support per year. Any support beyond that amount must be supplemented by the mentor, department, or through another award.


All trainees must:

  • Be working with a mentor who is a current Siteman Cancer Center member
  • Have the ability to participate in the program for 2 years, starting September 1
  • May not be simultaneously supported by an NIH or other federal grant during the program

Predoctoral trainees must be:

  • A PhD student working on a cancer biology project (MD/PhD students are not eligible for this pathway);
  • Entering their 2nd and 3rd years of graduate training;

Postdoctoral trainees must be:

  • Within two years of receiving their PhD at the time of application
  • A US citizen or permanent resident

MDS Postdoctoral trainees:

  • May be on a temporary US visa
  • Should propose an MDS-related research project
  • Are required to be within 5 years of completing their doctoral degree or clinical training (e.g. residency or fellowship)
  • Must hold a PhD, MD, or MD/PhD degree
  • Are not required to have a mentor who is a current Siteman Cancer Center member
  • May propose to participate in the program for one year or two years
  • Are allowed to have supplemental funding while appointed to the program


Applications for the Pathway are typically open May 1 – June 1.

To be considered for the program, applicants must:

  1. CV or Resume
  2. One paragraph description of your interest in the Cancer Biology Pathway
  3. One page description of- Predocs: your PhD dissertation goals
    – Postdocs: your current work in the laboratory
  4. Recommendation letter from the faculty sponsor/primary mentor (MDS Postdoc Applicants: The recommendation letter from your post-doctoral mentor must also acknowledge that the MDS award is only partially funded and state where the remainder of the stipend support will be paid from)
  5. Additional recommendation letters- Predocs: 2 other faculty members who served as laboratory rotation mentors
    – Postdocs: 1 letter from your PhD mentor and 1 letter from either another faculty member at Washington University or from the University where you earned your PhD
    -MDS Postdocs:

    • 1 letter from either another faculty member at Washington University or from the University where you earned your PhD.

Program Requirements

  • Participate in clinical shadowing each fall during the program
  • Complete and annually update an Individual Development Plan (IDP) with guidance from your mentor(s)
  • Comply with the NIH Responsible Conduct of Research Policy (complete 8 hours of in person ethics training, if not already complete during your current career stage)
  • Complete the following coursework (offered in alternate spring semesters):
    • L41-5288 Special Topics in Molecular Genetics (Coursemaster: Dr. Lee Ratner): Overview course of cancer biology examining a different topic each week in molecular, cell biological or immunological aspects of cancer biology.
    • L41-5196 Special Emphasis Pathway in Cancer Biology (Coursemaster: Dr. Jeff Magee): Provides an in-depth analysis of basic and clinical aspects of cancer biology, with a particular emphasis on pediatric oncology.
  • Participate in the following journal clubs each fall during the program:
    • Experimental Hematopoiesis
    • Cancer Biology
    • Hematology & Oncology
    • Student-Run Cell Biology
    • Cytoskeleton Discussion Group
    • Cell Biology of Extracellular Matrix
    • Molecular Mechanism of Aging
    • RNA Biology
    • Chromatin, Epigenetics, Nuclear Organization
    • Structural Biology
    • Human Genetics
    • Cancer Informatics
    • Other journal clubs with the approval of Dr. Lee Ratner

Previous Courses