Skip Navigation
National Cancer Institute
National Cancer Institute U.S. National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute
OverviewProgramsAccomplishmentsEvent ListingNews and HighlightsPublished Research

Cancer Nanotechnology Training Centers (CNTCs)

CNTCs are designed to establish innovative research education programs supporting the development of a multi-disciplinary nanotechnology workforce capable of pursuing cancer research. CNTCs target graduate student and post-doctoral researchers with backgrounds in medicine, biology, and other health sciences as well as in the physical sciences, chemistry, and engineering. The program of multi-disciplinary research education in cancer nanotechnology is primarily focused on mentored laboratory-based training through participation in dedicated training research projects. This program is administered by the NCI Center for Cancer Training.

Carolina Cancer Nanotechnology Training Program
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Principal Investigator: Alexander Kabanov, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Training Focus and Objectives: The goal of the program is to make a major contribution to the growth of the cancer nanotechnology workforce by providing training and research experiences to a highly select cohort of postdoctoral fellows. We have assembled a team of 22 outstanding Program faculty from 11 departments and 3 schools at the UNC-Chapel Hill with expertise in physical and material sciences, biomedical engineering, drug delivery, computational modeling as well as basic biomedical research and clinical science, all of whom have demonstrated strong interests, capabilities and collaborations at the interface between nanoscience and cancer. The objectives of the C-CNTP are to: 1) recruit an elite group of talented postdoctoral fellows from diverse backgrounds with PhD or MD and provide them with outstanding postdoctoral experience including focused didactic training and co-mentored research experience with faculty mentors from complementary fields; 2) provide each trainee with Intensive Integrated Learning Accelerating Module training in conjunction with flipped classrooms followed by workshops and didactic courses to remediate differences in their backgrounds and to deepen the knowledge and understanding in the key areas of cancer nanotechnology; and 3) facilitate transition of trainees to independence by providing them with opportunities to a) conduct original cancer nanotechnology research projects; b) apply for the individual cancer nanotechnology Pilot Grants within C-CNTP, and c) acquire written and oral communications skills needed to publish manuscripts, report results, and write successful individual extramural support applications focused on problems of cancer nanotechnology. Visit the University of North Carolina CNTC website.

Cancer Nanotechnology Training Program
Northwestern University
Principal Investigator: Gayle Woloschak, Ph.D.
Training Focus and Objectives: The goal of this program is to train MD- and PhD-level investigators (up to 4 per year) in the principles and tools of nanotechnology, cancer biology, and clinical oncology with the eventual goal of applying these skills to translational research that impacts cancer patients. The training program offers a well-rounded curriculum with basic courses, career development programs, and research-based experiences that is designed around the needs of each of the trainees. Training includes many nanotechnology resources including NU's International Institute for Nanotechnology, the Institute for BioNanotechnology, and the NU CCNE. Faculty from each of these centers participate in our T32 program. Fellows enrolled in the training program will acquire the skills and knowledge to design cancer nanomaterials, to investigate their biological properties, and to evaluate their safety and efficacy. Visit the Northwestern CNTC website.

Cancer-Translational Nanotechnology Training Program
Stanford University
Principal Investigators: Jianghong Rao, Ph.D., and Dean Felsher, M.D., Ph.D.
Training Focus and Objectives: The Stanford Cancer-Translational Nanotechnology Training (Cancer-TNT) Program is a diverse and synergistic 3-year training program bringing together 25 faculty in 9 departments from three schools to train the next generation of interdisciplinary leaders who will pursue challenges in cancer research and clinical translation. During the proposed 5-year cycle, we will recruit a total of 12 postdoctoral trainees to provide them with education and cross-disciplinary training to develop interdisciplinary researchers in cancer nanotechnology translation. Our trainees' skill sets will bridge multiple disciplines such as chemistry, molecular biology, bioengineering, nanoengineering, molecular imaging, and clinical cancer medicine. Trainees will be able to advance cancer research, diagnosis, and management. The 3-year program includes coursework and research with two complementary mentors. The course work will be selected in cancer biology, cancer immunology, molecular imaging, molecular pharmacology, and gene therapy, nanomedicine, micro/nanofabrication, biochips, electrical engineering, and materials science, in consultation with the program director and research advisor. In addition, hands-on training activities in Nanocharacterization and a clinical component including Stanford Oncology Clinical Lecture Series will be offered. In their second year trainees will prepare a mock grant proposal to help them gain experience and confidence in the grant application process. A Training Committee will oversee trainee progress, with an Advisory Committee monitoring the entire program Visit the Stanford CNTC website.

Interdisciplinary Translational Pre/Postdoctoral Program in Cancer Nanotechnology
University of Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center
Principal Investigators: Konstantin Sokolov, Ph.D., Sunil Krishnan, M.D., and Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ph.D.
Training Focus and Objectives: Currently, there is a growing gap between new discoveries coming from academic labs and their translation into clinic. To address this problem, we have designed a training program to educate future leaders in the field of nanotechnology with specific interests in cancer translational research. Our program is based on collaboration between The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Rice University and it combines multidisciplinary mentorship of translational research projects with hands-on coursework and seminar experiences. The program provides predoctoral and post-doctoral training. All trainees will work with at least two program faculty mentors (one from Rice and one from MD Anderson) to carry out an independent research project. In addition, fellows will write a research fellowship grant as an essential part of their preparation for independent careers. Didactic coursework will help T32 fellows to develop the skills needed to define and lead research projects that address barriers to translation of cancer nanotechnology. Incoming trainees will participate in a unique boot camp in "Cancer Management and Nanotechnology" that provides an overview of current opportunities and barriers in the field. Trainees will be introduced to federal resources in cancer nanotechnology by taking a trip to the NCI Nanotechnology Characterization Lab. Finally, trainees will gain lab management skills in an introductory course in laboratory and project management. At completion of the program, fellows will have a deep understanding of translational research in cancer nanotechnology with the demonstrated ability to carry out independent research in this multidisciplinary field. Visit the MD Anderson CNTC website.

Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Training Program in Nanotechnology for Cancer Research
Johns Hopkins University
Principal Investigator: Denis Wirtz, Ph.D.
Training Focus and Objectives: The interface between nanotechnology and medicine is a new frontier for scientific exploration and for the creation of new and improved diagnostic and therapeutic tools to detect, treat, cure, and prevent human diseases. We offer an integrated predoctoral and postdoctoral training program in nanotechnology for cancer research (NTCR) that is positioned at this interface. This program fosters predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows who are trained across disciplines to lay foundations for technologies that enable an inside-view of cancer cell functions as opposed to the limited black-box input-output techniques currently used, introduce new modalities for molecular imaging, develop new high-throughput diagnostic tools, and engineer novel drug/antibody/siRNA viral and non-viral delivery systems to treat human cancers. NTCR fellows develop novel cancer diagnostics to evaluate each individual patient's prognosis and optimal treatment, based upon the patients' genetic and epigenetic markers and disease phenotype and therapeutics that are selected and optimized for each individual patient. NTCR trainees take one of two core courses depending on their background, as well as a lab course in cancer nanobiotechnology. They participate in a journal club and a dedicated annual symposium, as well as clinical conferences and tumor boards. The NTCR program recruits outstanding trainees every year with MD and/or PhD degrees and diverse backgrounds in either biochemistry, physics, molecular / cellular / cancer biology, or an engineering/physics discipline for a steady state number of 2 postdoctoral and 6 predoctoral fellows. NTCR fellows take advantage of research and clinical resources at the NCI-designated Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Ludwick Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics, The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Center, and the In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Center, as well as the unique educational resources and experimental facilities of the recently established Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT), which houses the center for cancer nanotechnology excellence (CCNE) and the physical sciences-oncology center (PSOC).