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Cancer Biology, Informatics & Omics Training Program


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The Cancer Biology, Informatics & Omics Training (CBIO) training program in the School of Medicine (SOM) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) provides graduate students and post-doctoral scholars with training in discovery cancer research that is directly relevant to the nation’s goal of lessening the burden of cancer.


The proposed training is based on three rationales: 

(i) Advancements in cancer diagnosis and treatment are propelled by basic research discoveries on cancer-relevant biological processes

(ii) Cancer Genomics has provided a wealth of data to enable cancer-relevant translation of new knowledge and insights from model organism research 

(iii) Modern investigation of cancer biology in the human system requires proficiency in omics technologies and computational tools. 

Based on these principles, the CBIO program has designed a training curriculum to (a) achieve research excellence in advanced systems and approaches, (b) provide foundation knowledge on cancer and bioinformatics through coursework, (c) develop translational insights through participation in Tumor Boards at the Moores Cancer Center (MCC), (d) keep pace with advancements through MCC and SOM seminars as well as Systems Biology workshops, and (e) foster a collaborative community through program meetings and retreats. With these activities, the CBIO program aims to accelerate the pace of discovery and to advance the delivery of precision cancer medicine. 

The CBIO program leverages the continuing expansion of biomedical research in the UCSD SOM to identify faculty mentors with cancer-relevant research expertise, productive research programs, principled research conduct and outstanding training history from the Departments of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, Medicine, Pathology, Pediatrics, Pharmacology and Surgery. The CBIO program activities expose the trainees as well as the faculty to the diversity of systems, approaches and technologies that must be employed to investigate the complex biology of cancer. 

The CBIO program selects pre-doc trainees with outstanding academic achievements and cancer-relevant thesis projects from PhD students in the Biomedical Sciences graduate program. Previous pre-doc trainees of the CBIO program have established productive careers as faculty, research scientists and science writers. In the past five years, the CBIO program has extended training to post-doc scholars interested in cancer research with the goal of enhancing the career opportunities of highly qualified post-docs who are already in the biomedical research workforce pipeline. 

The CBIO program Executive Committee, consisting of the CBIO Program Director, Co-Directors, and two other CBIO faculty mentors with global perspectives on cancer research and leadership roles in diversity enhancement, selects and evaluates trainees and faculty. The CBIO External Advisory Committee reviews program statistics and metrics to identify the strengths and weaknesses of training activities, trainees and faculty. With these activities and support from the SOM and the MCC, the CBIO program will continue to function as a nexus for cancer-focused basic research and training in the SOM at UCSD.