About the Cancer Biology Program

The George Washington University (GW) Cancer Biology Training Program (CBTP) offers research opportunities and mentorship strengths in the GW Cancer Center, including Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, Cancer Signaling and Genomics, and Cancer Epigenetics and Technology. It reflects many strengths also found in the Cancer Biology PhD program.

The CBTP is designed to equip the next generation of cancer biologists and clinician scientists with the knowledge, analytical tools, and critical thinking skills to integrate multiple fields of biology in pursuit of cancer research discoveries

Each CBTP trainee will have a balance of three elements: Mentored research project directed by a faculty research preceptor and an advisory committee of experienced faculty; an individualized cancer biology curriculum including an exposure to health disparities in cancer; and career and professional development, including experience in grant writing and presentations.

Research Mentor Expertise

Diagram displaying faculty collaboration across different areas of expertise

Program Leadership

Norman Lee, PhD Norman Lee, PhD, a professor of pharmacology/physiology, co-leads the T-32 Cancer Biology Training Program at the GW Cancer Center. Dr. Lee also serves as the director of the Cancer Biology PhD Program, a member of the Katzen Cancer Research Center Board of Directors, and editor of Scientific Reports.

View Dr. Lee's Faculty Profile

Edward Seto, PhD Edward Seto, PhD, associate center director for basic sciences at the GW Cancer Center, King Fahd professor of cancer biology, and professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine at SMHS, co-leads the T-32 Cancer Biology Training Program at the GW Cancer Center.

View Dr. Seto's Faculty Profile

Program Application

Applications will be solicited in the spring for summer appointment (see flyer). Applications must be sent in a single PDF and should include:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Two-page statement of research (including research experience, current research interests, goals for pre/postdoctoral traineeship)
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. Brief recommendation from proposed T32 research mentor
  5. Two letters of reference (not including proposed T32 research mentor)

Trainees must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident by date of award
  • Predoctoral trainees must be graduate students from the Institute for Biomedical Sciences with a focus on cancer research
  • Postdoctoral trainees must have an advanced degree completed by start date (PhD, MD, or equivalent)
  • Commitment to a research career in cancer biology

Please direct information requests and all application materials to cancerbiology@gwu.edu, or call (202) 994-3492.

Current Trainees

James McDonald, PhD James McDonald, PhD
Mentor: Katherine Chiappinelli, PhD
Research Interests: How epigenetic therapies activate the immune system to improve outcomes for cancer immunotherapy treatments, novel tools to study the effects of targeted DNA methylation changes at tumor suppressor gene promoters, targets of epigenetic therapies in ovarian cancer.
Background: BS Seattle Pacific University, PhD Washington University in St. Louis
Michael Smith, PhD Michael Smith, PhD
Mentor: Paul Brindley, PhD
Research Interests: Transition from parasite-oriented research to cancer, helminth-induced cardinogenesis, mechanisms of host immune responses to address cancer, health disparities in D.C.
Background: PhD Howard University
Kenji Ishida, PhD Kenji Ishida, PhD
Mentor: Michael Hsieh, PhD
Research Interests: Mechanisms of parasite-host interactions. transcriptional profile of mouse model for urogenital schisosomiasis infection, bioinformatics analysis related to RNA seq transcriptional profiles.
Background: BS Case Western Reserve University, PhD Case Western Reserve University
Nicole Bonan Nicole Bonan
Mentor: Rohan Fernandes, PhD
Research Interests: Methods to increase immune cell killing of tumor cells, with a mesothelioma model system.
Background: BS American University, MS American University