There is no denying the cost of cancer is high for affected individuals, their families and society. The cost of supporting cancer research to make progress toward better treatments, earlier detection and prevention of this life-altering disease is also high. What may not be so obvious is that the major expense of conducting cancer research is the essential personnel housed within an investigator’s lab. These highly-qualified individuals represent the next generation of scientists, physicians, health professionals and cancer advocates.
The Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute, through it’s funding partners, is addressing this major challenge for cancer research by supports for cancer-research trainees through the Cancer Research Training Program (CRTP). CRTP provides both vital salary support for this group of dedicated scientists and also provides a comprehensive curriculum that builds the skills that equip every trainee for success in their future career.
Each year, BHCRI receives over 45 applications from exceptional trainees undertaking graduate and post-graduate training (MSc, PhD and Post-Doctoral fellowships) at one of our affiliated academic institutions within Atlantic Canada. Currently, BHCRI is able to support fewer than half of the excellent applications that are requesting financial support. Support for CRTP is an invaluable asset to both the trainee as he/she prepares to embark on a career in cancer research and for the cancer research program in which the trainee is conducting research. A CRTP award through BHCRI provides stipends of $17,850 per year for graduate students (MSc or PhD trainees), while Postdoctoral Fellows who have already earned a PhD receive a stipend of $36,750 as they continue to acquire the skills that will allow them to mount their own cancer research program.
Our most recent group of 25 newly funded CRTP trainees include trainees from Dalhousie University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Acadia and the Universite de Moncton. Over the next years, this collection of young investigators will be supported to conduct a wide range of cancer research and they will have the opportunity to interact with one another and with experts in their field. More importantly, these trainees will also have the opportunity to interact with donors and patients so that the impact of their research in always put in the context of the ‘big picture’ to improve the ability to manage and control cancer.
Through the generous donation from GIVETOLIVE, you have helped support four of these talented trainees: PhD student Emily Drake; MSc students Michael Giacomantonio and Daniel Medina-Luna and Postdoctoral Fellow Smriti Srivastava. Additionally, we anticipate awarding three GIVETOLIVE stipends for summer studentships in the summer of 2019 as an effective way to launch excellent students as they prepare for future graduate training. Below are the general summaries from each of the GIVETOLIVE funded applications.