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“First of Its Kind” Training Program Funded

WINSTON-SALEM – A new training program to help ensure that the latest scientific advances in cancer research are applied to patient care has been launched at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. The Training Program in Translational Radiation Oncology (TRADONC) is the first program of its kind in the country.

With a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, researchers in the Department of Radiation Oncology will train six physicians and scientists how to translate research from the lab to the patient.

“Radiation oncology, biology and physics stand at the threshold of a new, molecular-based approach,” said Michael E. C. Robbins, Ph.D., professor of radiation oncology and head of TRADONC. “In combination with the development of individualized radiation regimens, we believe these advances will significantly affect cancer patient long-term survival and quality of life.”

Ensuring the successful development of scientific advances and applying them to patient care requires a cadre of basic scientists and radiation oncologists who have a common knowledge base and are dedicated to pursuing translational radiation oncology research. TRADONC has been established to meet those needs.

Two trainees will be enrolled each year until six are in the program. The trainees will be radiation oncology fellows (MDs) who have completed their residency, postdoctoral basic scientists or medical physicists (PhDs). Each trainee will be supported for three years and will receive hands-on experience in both basic laboratory cancer research and clinical research.

The first two trainees are Jennifer Olson, Ph.D., a radiation biologist researching novel treatment regimes for radiation-induced brain injury as a member of the Brain Tumor Center of Excellence, and Brian Lally, M.D., a radiation oncologist who completed his residency in radiation oncology at Yale.

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Contact: Jonnie Rohrer, 336-716-6972, jrohrer@wfubmc.edu; or Karen Richardson, 336-716-4587, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,187 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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