Education and Training Unit (ETU)
Director: Paul Macklin [Contact]
It is our great responsibility and opportunity to help train the next generation of interdisciplinary cancer scientists in applying the physical sciences to oncology. We recruit undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students from biology, engineering, mathematics, and computing for hands-on training in physical oncology, involving computational oncology, novel measurement methods, and cutting-edge integrative approaches to wetlab biology. We supplement this cross-disciplinary training in a variety of ways, including:
- Short courses: We offer a short course on integrative and physical oncology every year in the fall. In 2013, this short course will take place on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. We are already taking applications. Spaces are both limited and competitive, so please apply early!
- Seminars: Our monthly seminar series on physical sciences in oncology features a mix of clinicians, biologists, and theoreticians and modelers. These seminars are intended for a multidisciplinary audience, and regularly attract leading oncologists to Los Angeles. An up-to-date schedule can be found on our events page.
- Student exchange: We are currently investigating options for student exchange between different PSOCs, in collaboration with the Consortium for Integrative Computational Oncology at USC. Those interested are encouraged to contact us.
- Training and travel funds: We have limited funds to send students to training events and the annual PSOC network meeting. Interested students should contact Paul Macklin.
A Cross-PSOC educational spinoff
In a joint initiative of the USC PSOC and the Scripps Research Institute PSOC, Dr. Macklin and Dr. Paul Newton co-founded the Consortium for Integrative Computational Oncology (CICO): a growing coalition of scientists and clinicians dedicated to advancing clinically-oriented computational oncology. As part of this work, we train mathematics and engineering students in applying computational modeling to cancer, with a focus on clinical data and a push towards translation. While CICO is currently in its formative stages, it has already enjoyed some successes in jointly training students and developing new computational tools that will help make simulations accessible to non-engineering students and faculty.
Want to get involved?
Students wishing to get involved in multidisciplinary cancer research are encouraged to contact Paul Macklin, who can assist in matching students to appropriate faculty at USC and our partners. Students should also attend upcoming events. Students should also consider following our @USC_PSOC Twiter feed. Examples of undergraduate and graduate student involvement can be found at the Macklin lab and at CICO.
We are also seeking faculty who are interested in cross-training students. If you have space in your lab or are interested in co-mentoring a cross-disciplinary student, please contact Paul Macklin.
Outreach and Dissemination Unit (ODU)
Director: Parag Mallick [Contact]
A key of objective of the USC PSOC is the "diffusion of innovations and ideas" to the broader public as well as to the clinical and research communities. In addition to helping inform the broader community about the importance of physical sciences approaches in the study of oncology, these efforts also help bring novel ideas into the PSOC. We also offer:
- Symposia: We offer a symposia on physical oncology every other year in the fall. This symposia features experts from all over the world and targets a diverse audience of students, researchers and practicing clinicians.
- Seminars: In order to further facilitate outreach and dissemination to the cancer biological and physical sciences communities, we offer the seminar series, which targets researchers in the physical sciences, cancer biology and engineering, by bringing in experts in research at the intersection between the physical sciences and oncology to share their perspective. A major objective of this seminar series is to actively engage the broader scientific community across multiple disciplines to think of creative ways by which the laws of physics, evolution, computational biology and engineering principles can be utilized to generate new insights into the underlying mechanisms of cancer. The up-to-date schedule can be found on our events page.
- Banbury ThinkTanks: The ODU has been highly active in organizing a series of Brainstorming ThinkTank's at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Banbury Conference Center. This venue is particularly conducive to the objectives of this workshop, i.e., researchers have been chosen based on their ability for visionary, "out of the box" thinking and contributions in moderately sized meetings where the emphasis is on creative thinking and innovative problem solving. Banbury Center meetings have been very effective vehicles to bring together scientists whose research is relevant to the topic, but who may not perceive that; in this way new ways of looking at a problem, new lines of research and new collaborations are promoted. Information on our 2013 ThinkTank can be found here.
- Outreach Pilot funds: We have limited funds to engage researchers outside of the PSOC network and encourage their activity in PSOC relevant activities.