VCU Massey Cancer Center

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Education & training for graduate and medical students

An essential component of VCU Massey Cancer Center’s mission to advance cancer research and treatment is the education of tomorrow’s cancer researchers and clinicians. To train the next generation of scientists and health care professionals, Massey partners with graduate and medical educational programs to offer unique and comprehensive educational programs in the study of cancer.

Clinical and Translational Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy with a concentration in cancer and molecular medicine

Massey Cancer Center supports two students per year in the Cancer and Molecular Medicine Ph.D. concentration, which is a doctoral program led by the VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) and co-directed by Massey research members Joyce Lloyd, Ph.D., and Devanand Sarkar, Ph.D. The concentration is designed to train students in the research skills required to perform translational research in cancer and molecular medicine. 

Learn more about the Ph.D. concentration in cancer and molecular medicine.

M.D./Ph.D. program

The M.D./Ph.D. program at the VCU School of Medicine provides a unique opportunity to prepare physician-scientists for careers that encompass aspects of both patient care and basic sciences. Graduates go on to become clinician scientists who advance the medical field through active patient care and innovative research in the basic sciences. Many of these students perform their research in the laboratories of Massey research members with special focus on cancer.

Learn more about the M.D./Ph.D. program.

Medical physics masters and doctoral degrees

The VCU School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology offers masters and doctoral degrees in medical physics to educate students in the medical physics areas of radiation therapy, diagnostic imaging, nuclear medicine and health physics. The objective of the VCU Medical Physics graduate program is to prepare students for medical physics careers in radiation therapy and diagnostic radiology. The Master of Science degree program is designed to ensure that students receive the proper didactic and clinical training so that they will be suited to work as clinical medical physicists. The doctoral degree program is designed to train future medical physics researchers who, in addition to understanding the basic principles of medical physics, can independently develop and assess new technology, critically review developments of other researchers and build on these developments to improve the practice of medical physics. Massey research members teach in this program.

Learn more about the graduate degree programs in medical physics.

Molecular Biology of Cancer graduate course

Massey Cancer Center research members teach the Molecular Biology of Cancer advanced graduate-level course, which provides theoretical background to graduate students interested in cancer research. Emphasis is placed on the experimental approach, integrating classical and modern methods of genetic analysis with biochemical studies in genetic regulatory mechanisms. The course includes presentations by students and interactive discussion of the scientific literature in the area of oncogenesis.

Learn more about the Molecular Cell Biology & Cancer Research Group that leads this graduate course.

Oncology-focused health care training

Oncology-focused clinical rotations are offered by Massey Cancer Center through VCU Health’s Health Sciences Schools and health system, VCU Medical Center, to graduate students pursuing various health care professions. Learn more about these training opportunities from the links below.

Medical students at the VCU School of Medicine

Dental students at the VCU School of Dentistry

Nursing students at the VCU School of Nursing

Pharmacy students at the VCU School of Pharmacy

Allied health students at the VCU School of Allied Health

Ph.D. in Oral Health Research, Cancer research program

The VCU School of Dentistry’s Philips Institute for Oral Health Research offers a Ph.D. in Oral Health Research that emphasizes independent research culminating in the conduct of an original research project under the supervision of a faculty adviser.

The Institute offers four research programs, including a cancer research program. Participants of the cancer research program are Massey Cancer Center research members. The focus of cancer research in the Philips Institute is to gain an understanding of fundamental genetic and cellular mechanisms that contribute to the formation of cancer and to exploit this understanding for therapeutic gain.

Learn more about the Ph.D. in Oral Health Research.

Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)

Through the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), VCU provides training opportunities to minority students who hold a recent baccalaureate degree in a biomedically relevant area of study to pursue a research doctorate. PREP participants receive support to work as apprentice scientists in a mentor’s laboratory and participate in courses for skills development. This program is directed by Massey research member Joyce Lloyd, Ph.D., and Massey research members play active roles in training these students.

Learn more about PREP.

Pre-doctoral program in radiation oncology translational research for M.D./Ph.D. students

The pre-doctoral program in radiation oncology translational research are for interested M.D./Ph.D. students and graduate students in VCU’s medical physics Ph.D. program. Students are introduced to general aspects of radiation and cancer biology through lecture series and in formal courses offered in the VCU Department of Radiation Oncology and at Massey Cancer Center. The basic science departments at VCU provide advanced didactic training in modern molecular and cellular biology for physician scientists.

Learn more about the pre-doctoral program in radiation oncology translational research.

Summer research learning opportunities for medical students

Medical students at the VCU School of Medicine are encouraged to do summer research. Research is usually conducted between the M1 and M2 years and can be continued for varying lengths of time throughout M2, M3 and M4 years.

Learn more about the summer research learning opportunities available.