The Sheila and David Fuente Graduate Program in Cancer Biology is a University-wide interdisciplinary training program that involves faculty from the basic science and clinical departments of the University of Miami. The objective of this program is to provide a unique multidisciplinary training environment for highly qualified individuals that will prepare them for independent research and teaching careers. The overall philosophy of the program is to integrate basic and clinical research. The scientific focus is on the biology of cancer and the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

The program emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach which incorporates concepts and state-of-the–art techniques from molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, biostatistics, genetics, genomics, immunology, proteomics, structural biology, clinical oncology, and translational research programs at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. An important goal of the program is to provide students with a strong background in basic biomedical research coupled with an understanding of clinical aspects of cancer including diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic intervention. To achieve this goal the program utilizes a unique program of study that includes lectures from both basic and clinical researchers. In addition, the program has a two-tier mentoring system in which students receive guidance from both a research mentor and a physician mentor.  The research mentor is the dissertation advisor, while the physician mentor will provide the student with a clinical perspective in oncology. Through this dual mentorship students conduct their doctoral research and obtain clinical knowledge in their area of study. The program aims to instill in students the ability to design multidisciplinary research programs in which scientific research is driven by unmet clinical challenges.

The curriculum includes core courses in Tumor Biology, Student Seminars, Tumor Boards, Special Topics in Cancer Research, Dialogues with Cancer Clinicians, and Logic and Reasoning in Translational Cancer Research. Students can also choose electives in cancer epidemiology, cellular and molecular biology, immunology, pharmacology, and microbiology with permission of CAB Director. After joining the program and choosing a research mentor, students formulate a proposal and take a qualifying exam. Their subsequent research is guided by an individually tailored dissertation committee, including the research advisor and physician mentor.


All students are admitted through the Program in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS) for the PhD programs in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology, Human Genetics & Genomics, Microbiology & Immunology, Molecular Cell & Developmental Biology, Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology, Neuroscience, and Physiology & Biophysics. The PIBS Admissions Committee will review and make decisions on applications after December 15th.
Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in a biological or related discipline (e.g., psychology, chemistry, engineering, physics). Although there are no absolute prerequisites, courses in general biology, cell/molecular biology, calculus, general physics, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and biochemistry are encouraged.
Strong candidates will have research experience in a laboratory setting (including publications of abstracts and/or papers), an excellent academic record and GRE scores, excellent letters of recommendation from scientists who know the candidate well, and the motivation to pursue state-of-the-art biomedical research.
In the first year all students take a common curriculum to build a solid foundation in biomedical science. The core coursework in the fall ranges from molecules to cells to systems of human physiology. Lectures are balanced by breakout sessions, in which faculty members discuss the primary literature with students in small groups. The core curriculum also offers critical learning opportunities in biostatistics and in using genomic and other databases, as well as education in ethics. Students also meet several times in small groups with experienced faculty mentors to discuss important issues of faculty development. Specific coursework relating to the individual graduate programs is done largely in the second and third semesters of study.
• Students should apply online at: 


Sheila and David Fuente Graduate Program in Cancer Biology
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Miller School of Medicine
P.O Box 019132 (M-877)
Miami, Florida 33101
Phone: 305-243-2287
Fax: 305-243-1855
Director: Kerry L. Burnstein, Ph.D.