OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Research Groups Curriculum Project Doc

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(3. Course of Study)
(3. Course of Study)
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Second Year Curriculum:
Second Year Curriculum:
CELL 616 Cancer Biology, 4 credits
CONJ 608B, PMCB Qualifying Exam
CONJ 608B, PMCB Qualifying Exam
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PCB 601, Research
PCB 601, Research
CELL 616 Cancer Biology, 4 credits
Third Year Through Graduation
Third Year Through Graduation

Revision as of 13:34, 28 August 2008

  • Proposal for the Initiation of a New Instructional Program Leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Cancer Biology
    Oregon Health & Science University, School of Medicine
  • Description of Proposed Program


1. Program Overview

a. Proposed CIP number* (* Note: Contact your Institutional Research Office or Registrar's Office for this number. Final decision of designation will be made by the Chancellor's Office.)

b. Provide a brief overview (approximately 1-2 paragraphs) of the proposed program, including a description of the academic area and a rationale for offering this program at the present time. Please include a description of any related degrees, certificates, or subspecialties (concentrations, areas of special emphasis, etc.) that may be offered now or in the foreseeable future.

Academic Area: The Graduate Program in Cancer Biology is designed to train students for a career in basic and applied cancer research. Modern cancer research is based on a broad range of technical skills including: Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics, Biochemistry, and Bioinformatics, which the students will learn through course work and extensive laboratory training. Students in this program will receive training in the application of biotechnology to basic and applied cancer research, and to the dissemination of information to the next generation of scientists and the lay public. Training will include exercises designed to develop independent thinking, oral and written presentation skills, data and information analysis, and dissemination of information through teaching. The first-year curriculum, will consist of a series of courses that all students will take, and emphasizes all aspects of cancer biology (cellular, molecular, systems, and disease). Students also participate in laboratory rotations in the first year, using these rotations to help choose a thesis lab. During the first year, students will be advised by faculty members, who guide them through courses, including advanced electives and rotations. At the end of the first year, students will take a comprehensive written exam, which tests students on their grasp of the core curriculum and on their skills in understanding the primary literature. The curriculum is flexible and courses are largely completed in the first year, permitting students to focus on the essence of graduate training, independent research in a mentor's laboratory, as soon as possible. At the beginning of the third year, students take the oral qualifying exam, which allows them to become a Ph.D. candidate. The qualifying exam consists of a written component, which is a thesis proposal in the format of an NRSA grant, and an oral defense. Subsequently, the student chooses a thesis exam committee, who guides their dissertation research. Students are evaluated at several points during their participation in the program, and are subjected to several yearly requirements, including a thesis committee meeting and a talk on their research. Finally, the culmination of a student's graduate career is the assembly of a written Ph.D. thesis and its oral defense. Thus, the proposed program combines rigorous course work with laboratory training and exercises in writing, speaking, and teaching, designed to provide students with the necessary theoretical and practical skills to launch productive careers. Graduating students will be in a position to competitively pursue a wide range of potential careers including: basic and applied research in the academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in undergraduate and graduate level teaching and science writing.

Rationale: Cancer death rates have declined about 1 percent per year since 1999, thanks to earlier detection, prevention efforts and better treatments. However, in 2002 cancer surpassed heart disease as the top killer of Americans under 85. An estimated 1.4 million new cancer cases and >550,000 cancer deaths are expected each year in the United States. The good news is that deaths from cancer and heart disease are falling, but improvement has been more dramatic for heart disease. One of the purposes of this new graduate program is to provide a rigorous training environment for future cancer researchers.

c. When will the program be operational, if approved?

Fall 2009.

2. Purpose and Relationship of Proposed Program to the Institution's Mission and Strategic Plan

a. What are the objectives of the program?

The objective of this new Graduate Program is to provide a learning platform that will give the next generation of cancer researchers the knowledge and skills that will allow for more efficient translation of laboratory results into new preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic methods in the prevention and treatment of cancer. The Oregon Cancer Institute is made up of numerous programs centered around cancer prevention and control, hormonal and reproductive malignancies, hematologic malignancies, experimental therapeutics, cancer biology, and complementary medicine, all functioning to foster interdisciplinary interactions between basic and clinical researchers. Students in this program will be exposed to all facets of the Oregon Cancer Center and therefore this new program will help promote interdisciplinary research throughout OHSU.

b. How does the proposed program support the mission and strategic plan of the institution(s)? How does the program contribute to attaining long-term goals and directions of the institution and program?

OHSU's fundamental purpose is to improve the health and well being of people in Oregon and beyond. As part of its multifaceted public mission, OHSU strives for excellence in education, research and scholarship, clinical practice and community service. This program will directly promote all of these missions by preparing young scientists for careers in cancer research. In addition, while in training these same students will be actively engaged in their own research in one of the many laboratories conducting cancer research in the interdisciplinary programs provided by the Oregon Cancer Institute and/or affiliated Departments at OHSU.

c. How does the proposed program meet the needs of Oregon and enhance the state's capacity to respond effectively to social, economic, and environmental challenges and opportunities?

Cancer is the leading cause of death among Oregonians. On an average day in 2005, 54 Oregonians were diagnosed with cancer, and 20 Oregonians died from it (Oregon State Cancer Registry, OSCaR). The good news is that deaths from cancer are falling, owing to earlier detection, prevention efforts and better treatments. The best new strategies for diagnosis, treatment and control of cancer will come from identifying and understanding the molecular defects present in cancer cells.

3. Course of Study

a. Briefly describe proposed curriculum. (List is fine.)

i. Slash courses (i.e., 400/500-level) should be listed as such.

ii. Include course numbers, titles, credit hours.

First Year Curriculum:

Fall Term

CONJ 661, Structure & Function of Biological Molecules, 3 credits.

CONJ 662, Genetic Mechanisms, 3 credits

CONJ 650, Practice & Ethics of Science, 2 credits

CONJ 601, Research Rotation, 6 credits

CONJ 605, PMCB Literature Club, 2 credits

Winter Term

CONJ 663, Bioregulation, 3 credits

CONJ 664, Molecular Cell Biology, 3 credits

PCB 606, Cancer Biology Journal Club, 2 credits

CONJ 601, Research Rotation, 8 credits

Spring Term

CONJ 665, Development, Differentiation, & Cancer, 3 credits

CONJ 667*, Organ Systems, 3 credits

CONJ 668*, Molecular Biophysics & Experimental Bioinformatics, 3 credits

PCB 606, Cancer Biology Journal Club, 2 credits

CONJ 601, Research Rotation, 8 credits

*Students select one of the two courses and have until the end of the second year to complete the last course.

Summer Term

CONJ 608A, PMCB Comprehensive Exam, 8 credits

PCB 601, Research Rotation, 8 credits

Second Year Curriculum:

CELL 616 Cancer Biology, 4 credits

CONJ 608B, PMCB Qualifying Exam

PCB 601, Research

Third Year Through Graduation

Students are admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree upon successful completion of a qualifying examination consisting of an oral presentation and defense of a research proposal. The progress of students' research and the general quality of their graduate education are maintained by continuous interaction among the student, the dissertation advisor, and a dissertation advisory committee. The dissertation is based upon original research work carried out in the dissertation advisor's laboratory. Students will also attend and participate in the OHSU Cancer Center Seminars and Journal Clubs. Continue Dissertation Research – under the direction of thesis advisor and thesis advisory committee. Have annual Dissertation Advisory Committee Meetings. Complete Dissertation Research and Write Dissertation. Dissertation Defense - consists of a public seminar followed immediately by a question-and-answer session with the Dissertation Committee. This session is also public but only members of the dissertation committee are allowed to test and ask questions of the student.

b. Describe new courses. Include proposed course numbers, titles, credit hours, and course descriptions.

PCB 606: Program in Cancer Biology Journal Club.

PCB 601: Program in Cancer Biology Research.

c. Provide a discussion of any nontraditional learning modes to be utilized in the new courses, including, but not limited to: (1) the role of technology, and (2) the use of career development activities such as practica or internships.

d. What specific learning outcomes will be achieved by students who complete this course of study?

4. Recruitment and Admission Requirements

a. Is the proposed program intended primarily to provide another program option to students who are already being attracted to the institution, or is it anticipated that the proposed program will draw students who would not otherwise come to the institution?

b. Are any requirements for admission to the program being proposed that are in addition to admission to the institution? If so, what are they?

c. Will any enrollment limitation be imposed? If so, please indicate the specific limitation and its rationale. How will students be selected if there are enrollment limitations?

5. Accreditation of the Program

a. If applicable, identify any accrediting body or professional society that has established standards in the area in which the proposed program lies.

b. If applicable, does the proposed program meet professional accreditation standards? If it does not, in what particular area(s) does it appear to be deficient? What steps would be required to qualify the program for accreditation? By what date is it anticipated that the program will be fully accredited?

c. If the proposed program is a graduate program in which the institution offers an undergraduate program, is the undergraduate program accredited? If not, what would be required to qualify it for accreditation? If accreditation is a goal, what steps are being taken to achieve accreditation?


6. Evidence of Need

a. What evidence does the institution have of need for the program? Please be explicit. (Needs assessment information may be presented in the form of survey data; summaries of focus groups or interviews; documented requests for the program from students, faculty, external constituents, etc.)

b. Identify statewide and institutional service-area employment needs the proposed program would assist in filling. Is there evidence of regional or national need for additional qualified individuals such as the proposed program would produce? If yes, please specify.

c. What are the numbers and characteristics of students to be served? What is the estimated number of graduates of the proposed program over the next five years? On what information are these projections based?

d. Are there any other compelling reasons for offering the program?

e. Identify any special interest in the program on the part of local or state groups (e.g., business, industry, agriculture, professional groups).

f. Discuss considerations given to making the complete program available for part-time, evening, weekend, and/or placebound students.


7. Program Evaluation

a. How will the institution determine the extent to which the academic program meets the objectives (section 2a) previously outlined? (Identify specific post-approval monitoring procedures and outcome indicators to be used.)

b. How will the collected information be used to improve teaching and programs to enhance student learning?

8. Assessment of Student Learning

a. What methods will be used to assess student learning? How will student learning assessment be embedded in the curriculum?

b. What specific methods or approaches will be used to assess graduate (completer) outcomes?

c. Is a licensure examination associated with this field of study?

Integration of Efforts

9. Similar Programs in the State

a. List all other closely related OUS programs.

b. In what way, if any, will resources of other institutions (another OUS institution or institutions, community college, and/or private college/university) be shared in the proposed program? How will the program be complementary to, or cooperate with, an existing program or programs?

c. Is there any projected impact on other institutions in terms of student enrollment and/or faculty workload?


10. Faculty

a. Identify program faculty, briefly describing each faculty member's expertise/specialization. Separate regular core faculty from faculty from other departments and adjuncts. Collect current vitae for all faculty, to be made available to reviewers upon request.

b. Estimate the number, rank, and background of new faculty members who would need to be added to initiate the proposed program in each of the first four years of the proposed program's operation (assuming the program develops as anticipated). What commitment does the institution make to meeting these needs?

c. Estimate the number and type of support staff needed in each of the first four years of the program.

11. Reference Sources

a. Describe the adequacy of student and faculty access to library and department resources (including, but not limited to, printed media, electronically published materials, videotapes, motion pictures, CD-ROM and online databases, and sound files) that are relevant to the proposed program (e.g., if there is a recommended list of materials issued by the American Library Association or some other responsible group, indicate to what extent access to such holdings meets the requirements of the recommended list).

b. How much, if any, additional financial support will be required to bring access to such reference materials to an appropriate level? How does the institution plan to acquire these needed resources?

12. Facilities, Equipment, and Technology

a. What unique resources (in terms of buildings, laboratories, computer hardware/software, Internet or other online access, distributed-education capability, special equipment, and/or other materials) are necessary to the offering of a quality program in the field?

b. What resources for facilities, equipment, and technology, beyond those now on hand, are necessary to offer this program? Be specific. How does the institution propose that these additional resources will be provided?

13. If this is a graduate program, please suggest three to six potential external reviewers.

14. Budgetary Impact

a. On the “Budget Outline” sheet (available on the Forms and Guidelines Web site), please indicate the estimated cost of the program for the first four years of its operation (one page for each year). The “Budget Outline Instructions” form is available on the Forms and Guidelines Web site, as well.

b. If federal or other grant funds are required to launch the program, describe the status of the grant application process and the likelihood of receiving such funding. What does the institution propose to do with the program upon termination of the grant(s)?

c. If the program will be implemented in such a way as to have little or minimal budgetary impact, please provide a narrative that outlines how resources are being allocated/reallocated in order that the resource demands of the new program are being met. For example, describe what new activities will cost and whether they will be financed or staffed by shifting of assignments within the budgetary unit or reallocation of resources within the institution. Specifically state which resources will be moved and how this will affect those programs losing resources. Will the allocation of going-level budget funds in support of the program have an adverse impact on any other institutional programs? If so, which program(s) and in what ways?

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