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ET CURE: Cancer Research Internships Using Emerging Technologies

The ET CURE Program – Emerging Technologies Continuing Umbrella of Research Experience – is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. It engages the scientific curiosity and promotes the potential cancer research careers of promising undergraduate students from underserved and disadvantaged populations.

We believe that reducing the disproportionate burden of cancer incidence and mortality in many ethnic and racial groups will depend substantially on the presence of culturally sensitive, well-trained scientists from these populations.

Defining Emerging and Nano Technologies

As a revolutionary new technology, nanotechnology has the potential to impact almost every area of society. Nanotechnology medical developments over the coming years will have a wide variety of uses and could potentially save a great number of lives.


  • Involves manipulating properties and structures at the nanoscale, often involving dimensions that are just tiny fractions of the width of a human hair
  • Holds the promise of providing great medical benefits for society in the future
  • Is already being used as the basis for new, more effective drug delivery systems and is in early stage development as scaffolding in nerve regeneration research
  • It is already moving from passive to active structures through more targeted drug therapies, or “smart drugs.” Smart drug therapies are now known to cause fewer side effects and be more effective than traditional therapies.

Nanotechnology advances will aid in the formation of molecular systems that may be strikingly similar to living systems, like regenerating or replacing body parts that are currently lost to infection, accident, or disease.

The NCI created the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer to stimulate breakthroughs in detecting, diagnosing, and treating various forms of cancer. UC San Diego created the Center of Nanotechnology for Treatment, Understanding, and Monitoring of Cancer (NANO-TUMOR) (

Benefits for selected candidates

  • Paid laboratory research internships within UC San Diego, up to 15 hours per week during the academic year, and 40 hours per week during breaks
  • A faculty mentor in nanotechnology research to work directly with you.
  • Staff and faculty will work with you in preparing for graduate school.
  • Successful completion of the ET CURE Program will give you special consideration for admission to UC San Diego graduate programs involved in nanotechnology cancer research.


For more information, contact Tim Johnston.