Translational Cancer Research for Basic Scientists Workshop

General Information 

Goals of the Workshop
The goal of the Translational Cancer Research for Basic Scientists Workshop is to provide basic research scientists with a better understanding of translational research, teach them how to adapt their research for maximum clinical impact, and help them transition into a new career in translational cancer medicine. During the course of the week, attendees will gain perspective and background knowledge of the disease from translational scientists in academia and industry, clinicians, and patients, while learning about the latest methods and approaches in cutting-edge translational cancer research.

This innovative workshop addresses many aspects of translational research, including:

  • Collaborating on multidisciplinary teams
  • Working effectively with industry partners
  • Recognizing the unique needs and environment of the clinic and clinical laboratories
  • Navigating the regulatory and compliance issues in translational science
  • Understanding the perspective of patients and clinicians in order to place research questions into a broader context

Registration Fees
Early-career participants (predoctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career scientists) who are accepted to the workshop will be required to pay a registration fee of $1,250. This covers workshop registration, shared hotel accommodations for the full week of the workshop, the majority of meals and breaks, the costs of workshop materials, and transportation to offsite clinic and lab visits. Participants will be required to pay for their own travel to and from Boston, Massachusetts.

Senior scientists who are accepted to the workshop will be required to pay a registration fee of $1,750 for the workshop. All senior scientists are required to pay for their own housing for the duration of the workshop and their travel to and from Boston. Senior scientists receive all workshop materials and meals offered as part of the workshop.

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Educational Formats
The scientific program for the workshop utilizes five different educational formats to effectively deliver the principles of translational cancer research.

  • Lectures and panel discussions on specific topics will be presented by experts representing different aspects of translational cancer research. These talks will provide participants with an essential overview of this increasingly important field and the basic principles of cancer therapeutic development, working with clinical collaborators, and team science. Lectures will be presented by the scientists who have made some of the most significant recent advances in translational research. They will share their practical insights and perspectives on the importance of cross-disciplinary collaborations and relationship building. The majority of lectures will be followed by a panel discussion to explore the topic in greater depth.
  • Off-site interactive observational visits will furnish the participants with first-hand exposure to key aspects of translational and clinical research. Visits to diagnostic radiology and pathology laboratories will provide insights into the challenges of biomarkers and tissue diagnostics. Two days of visits to outpatient cancer clinics, with opportunities for dialogue with cancer patients and their physicians, will provide the participants with a foundation in cancer care and personalized medicine. Participants will also observe a live Institutional Review Board (IRB) session in order to gain insights into issues of protection of human subjects that are at the heart of translational research.
  • Faculty Office Hours provide an opportunity for participants to meet with individual faculty members and receive personalized feedback regarding career development in translational research, research-related questions, and any other issues participants wish to discuss.
  • Small group discussion sessions in the evenings are designed to provide an opportunity for informal, in-depth discussion on the lectures and off-site visits of the day, as well as the chance to meet with clinicians and their cancer patients to learn more about the clinical environment. Small group sessions will be limited in size to maximize dialogue and facilitate the educational experience.
  • Group meals throughout the workshop—breakfast, lunch, and dinner on most days—are designed to promote information exchange and networking among participants and between participants and faculty members.

These five educational formats foster the indispensable face-to-face contact and interactions that are critically important to surmounting barriers and building relationships and collaborations that will last long beyond the duration of the workshop.

Workshop Requirements and Preparation
Those accepted for the workshop are expected to:

  • Attend the entire workshop and participate in all sessions and workshop activities
  • Complete all the assigned mandatory human subjects research/confidentiality training and certifications prior to the workshop
  • Review the assigned readings before the workshop
  • Participate in all workshop evaluations and surveys

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Workshop Site
The majority of workshop sessions and meals will take place at the workshop hotel located in Boston, Massachusetts. Off-site observational visits will take place at a variety of locations in the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Cancer Center complex in Boston. Additionally, the city of Boston offers many educational, sight-seeing, culinary, and cultural activities within a short distance of the hotel.

All accepted participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements to the workshop, including arrangements for transportation from the train, bus, or airport to the hotel.

Early-career participants must reside at the workshop hotel for the duration of the workshop and participate in all group meals. Early-career participants will receive a complimentary hotel room to be shared with one other participant for the full week of the workshop. Early-career participants who request other accommodations (single-occupancy or a room shared with a non-attendee) at the workshop hotel will be charged half the cost of the room. Early-career participants in the Boston area are encouraged to stay at the workshop hotel since the program includes early-morning and late-evening events. Please note that the registration rate for all early-career participants (out of area and local) is the same regardless of accommodations selected.

Senior scientists are urged to reside at the workshop hotel, but are not required to do so. The workshop rate for single-/double-occupancy rooms is available to all senior scientists. Senior scientists will have the option of sharing hotel rooms with other participants depending upon availability.

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