Research Training Program
Predoctoral and postdoctoral training program expands dermatology researchThe department offers predoctoral and postdoctoral training opportunities for careers in academic medicine and clinical science. One of these is the Training Program in the Molecular Basis of Skin/Mucosa Pathobiology, funded by the National Institute of Health National Cancer Institute and directed by Molly Kulesz-Martin, Ph.D. Its focus is to educate translational and clinician scientists in research areas with a strong potential to impact dermatology. The department received initial funding in 2004 for five years to support 15 M.D., Ph.D. and predoctoral trainees in nine different labs. The latest renewal supports the program through 2019 and increases the total funding to $3.8 million.
The program offers fellowships to two predoctoral students and three postdoctoral trainees to work on projects relating to the skin (cancer and inflammation); to date, 18 predoctoral and 36 postdoctoral trainees have been funded through this program. Currently, it features 18 primary and secondary mentors, bringing together labs from the Departments of Dermatology, Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology, Molecular & Medical Genetics, Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, and Biomedical Engineering, all with an interest in cutaneous biology research. Currently, all our appointed trainees are pursuing projects related to melanoma. Several of the trainees have gone on to faculty positions at other universities and all have continued to work in the health sciences.
Dermatology is by nature interdisciplinary, involving multiple cell types (epithelial, stromal, endothelial and immune cells) and multiple treatment approaches (medical, genetic, immunological and surgical). Although based in the Department of Dermatology, the program gathers mentors from the Departments of Cell & Developmental Biology, Molecular & Medical Genetics, Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, Hematology & Medical Oncology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Public Health & Preventive Medicine and the new OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Cancer Biology Program.
Program mentors offer core research resources and cross-disciplinary tools, including specialized cell culture of keratinocytes and dendritic cells; isolation, separation and molecular profiling of human mucosa/skin tissue; transgenic, knock-in and knock-out mice; and non-invasive real-time imaging of developing cancers and stromal changes.