Since 1988, NCI has funded UAB's Cancer Prevention and Control Training Program (CPCTP) to support the study of post-doctoral fellows, doctoral students, and summer interns. In 1991 Dr. Doug Heimburger became Director of the CPCTP and Dr. John Waterbor became Co-Director. Since the CPCTP's inception, Dr. C. Michael Brooks has overseen program evaluation. The CPCTP has flourished as the University has expanded and recruited additional faculty and students interested in cancer research.
From Summer 1990 through Summer 1998 the CPCTP supported a total of 77 summer interns (about 9 per summer). These interns were first-year medical students and public health graduate students who were U.S. citizens or permanent residents interested in devoting a standard term of 8 weeks (mid-June to mid-August) to cancer research under the guidance of CCC faculty preceptors. A few individuals served as interns in two or more summers.
In the course of recruiting preceptors and interns it became apparent that the CPCTP could not take full advantage of the rich cancer research opportunities available with CCC faculty. Also, it was the judgment of the CCC's Cancer Education Committee (CEC) that we were not aggressive enough in providing cancer research training opportunities for UAB students. This led to the development of the CaRES Program, which has replaced the "summer interns" portion of the CPCTP, effective summer 1999.
The long-term goal of the CaRES Program is to motivate participating UAB biomedical graduate students and medical students to pursue careers in cancer research. The short-term goals of CaRES are to furnish such students the support needed to undertake a short cancer research experience under the guidance of UAB CCC faculty and to furnish these faculty capable students who can enhance their research productivity.
In summer 1999, 17 students were supported as CaRES Interns. In summer 2000, 21 students were supported and in summer 2001, funds were available to support 34 interns. In summer 2002, we supported 57 interns, setting a new record. In summer 2003, the final year of our first five-year grant, the remaining available funds supported 29 more interns. Our application for five more years of CaRES was funded for 2005-2009, for support of at least 40 interns each summer. We supported 59 interns in the summer of 2005, 43 interns in the summer of 2006, 49 interns in the summer of 2007, and 44 interns in summer 2008. Solicitation of project descriptions from potential Preceptors will begin each January, and student interviews for Internship positions should begin shortly thereafter.
Evaluation of the CaRES Program, including the efforts and achievements of both the Interns and Preceptors, is extremely important. The CEC holds CaRES internally accountable to ensure that Program goals and objectives are met. By means of ongoing assessments, program quality will be evaluated and improvements instituted as appropriate. Long-term follow-up of CaRES alumni will document the impact of CaRES on career choices.
Contact Program Director Dr. John Waterbor, UAB School of Public Health, (205) 934-7146; Email: email@example.com for more information.