A Comprehensive Cancer Center Designated by the National Cancer Institute

Professional Education/Career Development

At the University of Chicago, faculty members have several opportunities to advance their careers and expand their research and clinical interests.

Institute for Translational Medicine
The University of Chicago Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM) is a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Awards consortium that helps convert biomedical research into health improvement.

During the last eight years, the ITM has connected more than 1,800 researchers and community organizations with funding, training, and other resources while forging connections across departments, universities, and patient advocacy groups.

Since its 2007 inception, total funding for the ITM has exceeded $60 million through the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) CTSA grant numbers UL1 TR000430, KL2 TR000431, and TL1 TR000432, and from the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences.

Under the leadership of Julian Solway, MD, Director of the ITM, and Lainie Ross, MD, PhD, Co-Director of the ITM, the organization has awarded more than $5.7 million in Pilot Awards to researchers and more than $1.3 million to investigators to subsidize the cost of using sophisticated Core Facilities equipment and services.

The ITM works with 62 institutions across the country as part of the CTSA consortium to advance medicine in innovative ways and transform research results into improved clinical practice. One pillar of that mission involves providing training and mentoring resources, and the ITM is proud to offer educational opportunities to UChicago investigators. Some of those opportunities include:

Translational Research Seminars
The ITM supports a variety of dynamic seminars on a regular basis throughout the year to provide a forum for junior faculty and senior experts to exchange ideas about everything from translational research to career trajectories.

Platforms include the Career (K) Scholar Seminar Series, Outcomes Research Workshops (OCR), Pathobiology of Disease Seminar Series, UCCCC Seminar Series, and myCHOICE lectures.

Transdisciplinary Disease Interest Groups
The Transdisciplinary Disease Interest Group Meetings facilitate innovative and interactive discussions among experts working in a particular disease area. Coordinated by the ITM and partner organizations, these discussions bridge disciplines across the translational research spectrum and examine a disease from many perspectives. Bringing together a variety of experts in each disease area allows them to share their diverse insights and to develop new collaborative approaches to translate the latest research into treatments that improve health outcomes.

Committee on Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) Curriculum
The Committee on Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) is a freestanding academic unit housed within the Biological Sciences Division that serves as the academic arm of the ITM. In partnership with the Center for Health and the Social Sciences (CHeSS), CCTS enhances multidisciplinary training in clinical and translational science through an innovative curriculum and valuable mentorship opportunities.

CCTS offers five courses each quarter for graduate-level trainees, postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty, and other University of Chicago staff. Click here to read about how a course on quality improvement and patient safety launched real-world projects to improve the hospital, and learn about the latest course offerings here.

CTSA Career Scholar Award
The CTSA K12/KL2 Scholar Program produces accomplished clinical or translational researchers who improve the understanding or treatment of human disease. Research topics can relate to any aspect of clinical or translational research, apply to any patient population and disease group, and employ any suitable research approach. Eligible candidates must hold an MD, PhD, or MD/PhD degree for this position, which the ITM funds with up to $75,000 in salary plus fringe benefits. Scholars are appointed on a two-year basis.

The ITM also coordinates recruitment of K12 Scholars for two other institutional K12 awards:

Paul Calabresi Career Development in Clinical Oncology Award
The Paul Calabresi K12 Scholars Program trains junior investigators who are pursuing careers in clinical and translational research. Led by Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD, FACP, the program provides “hands-on” clinical research training and mentoring that result in a master’s degree in health studies. Scholars are appointed on a two-year basis.

K12 Career Development Program in Omics of Lung Diseases
The Lung Omics K12 trains junior faculty scholars to use large datasets to study diseases of the lung and respiratory system. Led by Drs. Julian Solway, Carole Ober, David Gozal, Robert Grossman, and Andrey Rzhetsky, the program prepares clinician- and non-clinician trainees for translational research careers.

Public Health Sciences
The Department of Public Health Sciences, chaired for decades by Ronald Thisted, PhD, and later by Interim Chair, Diane Lauderdale, PhD, is a cross-disciplinary program focused on biostatistics, epidemiology, and health services research that studies the environmental and organizational factors influencing the health of human populations. The Department offers an MS degree in Health Studies for Clinical Professionals (MSCP), and a certificate program, the Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP). The MSCP program is designed to educate doctoral-level individuals in the theory, methods, and concepts of biostatistics, epidemiology, and 142 health services research required to develop clinical and epidemiologic research studies. The CRTP, an NIH-supported program designed for clinicians or clinical researchers, offers formal training opportunities in areas relevant to the design, implementation, and analysis of clinical research. In addition, the Department offers a PhD program in biostatistics, epidemiology, and health services research based on a core curriculum in population-based health research.

MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics
The MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics is internationally recognized as a leading program for research and training in medical ethics. The Center is directed by Mark Siegler, MD, and consists of several UCCCC members and faculty in medicine, law, business, public policy, and social sciences. Established in 1984 with support from the family of Dorothy J. MacLean, the Center offers both a 2-year master’s degree and a 1-year part-time fellowship program. The master’s degree program provides a health services research curriculum and is intended for physicians interested in pursuing an academic career with a focus on health policy and clinical medical ethics. The 1-year, part-time fellowship program offers clinicians, not necessarily pursuing academic medicine, training in medical ethics. Specialized fellowships in surgical ethics and pediatric ethics are offered. In addition, the Center hosts conferences and workshops that attract a wide range of speakers and audiences to explore medical ethics issues from multidisciplinary perspectives.

Graham School of General Studies
The University of Chicago Graham School of General Studies offers a Clinical Trials Management and Regulatory Compliance Program. This post-baccalaureate program provides comprehensive training in clinical practices, drug development, statistical concepts for clinical research, and clinical site management and monitoring. The program enables graduates to initiate clinical research, apply effective monitoring methods, and understand regulations and good clinical practices. All staff in the Cancer Clinical Trials Office have completed this training program.

The Graham School also offers a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Physics to help students with PhDs in physics transition to a medical physics profession. The year-long professional track is offered in partnership with the University of Chicago Committee on Medical Physics and is accredited by CAMPEP, the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs. Students who successfully earn the certificate are eligible to enter CAMPEP-accredited residency programs in medical physics that provide the necessary clinical experience required for ABR (American Board of Radiology) certification.

Chicago Options in Career Empowerment (myCHOICE)
The goal of the myCHOICE program is to educate and prepare University of Chicago trainees with biological or health science degrees for their ideal career path.

Grant Writing Assistance for Faculty
Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM)’s Career (K) Award Writing Workshop
The ITM Career Award Writing Workshop is designed to demystify the K application process. This is accomplished by focusing on critical parts that make or break an application. This 10-week workshop is not meant as a replacement for a committed mentor, but to augment the knowledge available to K applicants.

University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center Grant Writers’ Group
The Comprehensive Cancer Center Grant Writers’ Group hosts an informal 8-week long session for faculty grant writers and mentors to foster discussion and provide feedback about cancer-focused grant applications. The next session runs from March 16-May 18, 2015. Faculty at all levels that are interested in serving as grant writers or mentors should contact Kathy Goss at kgoss@uchicago.edu.

The BSD Office of Faculty Affairs
The BSD Office of Faculty Affairs, led by Dean’s Melina Hale, PhD, and Karen Kim, MD, MS, have several programs and opportunities for faculty career development specifically in the area of enhancing grant and research writing skills. Click here for a current calendar of scheduled events and programs.

Comprehensive Cancer Center Lunch and Learn Workshops
The Comprehensive Cancer Center holds a quarterly educational series to provide its members with the opportunity to develop their communication and outreach skills, as well as being informed about various institutional resources to enhance their research efforts. See below for a listing of Lunch and Learn events.

Walter Stadler