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Postdoctoral Training Program

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Office of Education and Training at the Miller School of Medicine is committed to creating a rich training environment to suit the needs of individuals across the continuum from early stage students to faculty.


Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center (SCCC) Trainee Membership

Trainee Membership in Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center (SCCC) allows postdoctoral associates and graduate students working in Cancer Center member labs and doing cancer research as well as clinical fellows working in oncology-related sub-specialties access to a number of benefits, including travel awards, fee waivers to conferences and notices of events and opportunities of interest to trainees.  Members receive fee waivers for several Sylvester sponsored conferences and symposiums, including the Miami Winter Symposia, the Miami Epigenetics and Cancer Symposium, and the FACTOR Osteosarcoma Conference.  Application and eligibility information for the Sylvester Trainee Membership can be found here


Grant Writing Workshops for Mentored Grants

Every year Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center provides two grant workshops led by Mary Lou King, PhD. Postdoctoral associates, clinical fellows, junior faculty and graduate students may attend a two-session grant writing workshop focused on fellowship and other mentored award applications (e.g. NIH F and K-type, DOD postdoctoral, Komen.) Different content is presented each day.  

You can find further resources for grant writing, including videos, at Training and Mentored Grants Support


Mentored Teaching Opportunities in Cancer Education

Several mentored teaching opportunities are available for postdoctoral fellows. Small group teaching opportunities include teaching special subjects for a graduate course in cancer biology and for graduate level RCR training through case studies. Guest lecturer positions for undergraduate courses in biology and cancer biology are also available. 


Career Talks

Have you have ever wanted to ask someone in industry about how you can transition from academia to industry? What career opportunities there are beyond research? How they advanced their career and what experience and skills it took to get there? What influences shaped their career? What would it take to impress their company’s hiring agent? 

Come to one of our Career Talks! Click on the Calendar button on the left to find events.

Pipelines in Cancer Research - Oncology program leaders from the pharmaceutical/ biotechnology industry are invited to discuss promising projects and products in their oncology portfolios. The Career Talks by the leaders in pharmaceutical/biotechnology industries are scheduled immediately after the Pipelines lectures.

Entrepreneurial Series is comprised of 4 workshops during the year on the Medical Campus by UM’s Launch Pad will introduce you to entrepreneurship, which is defined as the transformation of innovation into an enterprise that generates value. You will also learn how The Launch Pad free resources can help turn your idea into a business. To find out more about The Launch Pad go to http://thelaunchpad.org/ 

Other career talks are presented throughout the year as outside speakers come onto campus. Cancer Biology Graduate Program and other UM alumni in industry are also asked to speak to trainees about their career path.  


Seminars and Lectures

Sylvester hosts approximately twenty large lectures a year that draw distinguished researchers in their fields to Sylvester. The Distinguished Lecture Series, the Distinguished Collaborations Series, the Podack Memorial Lecture and the Zubrod Memorial Lecture expose trainees to the best researchers in the arena of cancer research. To further enhance this experience, Postdoctoral Associates and other trainees are offered special opportunities to interact more closely with these innovative researchers through trainee lunches with the speaker, including the Zubrod Lecturer, as well as the opportunity to accompany the lecturer around campus and at the poster sessions.

For more information on these lectures and a list of current and past speakers, please see our conferences and seminars listing.


SCCC Postdoctoral Associate, Fellow and Graduate Student Poster Sessions 

Every year in the spring, trainees have the opportunity to participate in a trainee poster session and the opportunity to win prizes in the various categories of research. The four categories are clinical research, translational research, basic science research and population-based research. The posters and abstracts are reviewed by select faculty. Award letters, the cash prizes and plaques in the four categories are awarded on-stage at the Zubrod Memorial lecture on the same day as the poster session. 

At the Annual Sylvester Retreat, Postdoctoral Associates and graduate students are also invited to present their posters in the afternoon and participate in an evening social with faculty. A Postdoctoral Associate is also chosen to give an oral presentation on his or her research during the Sylvester Retreat.


Postdoctoral Ambassador Program

The Ambassador Program pairs incoming trainees working in Sylvester Cancer Center labs with a current UM Postdoctoral Associate to facilitate the transition to UM Postdoctoral training and Miami area life. The ambassador will act as a contact to answer questions an incoming trainee might have as well as provide advice about the Miami area.  The ambassador may also provide their insights on UM and share experiences.  

If you are a new postdoctoral associate and would like to meet a current postdoc who can share their experiences, please contact the Office of Education and Training below. If you are a postdoctoral associate who would like to meet someone new and help to acclimate them to UM and the Miami area, please contact the Office of Education and Training below.


Cancer Biology Training Consortium (CABTRAC) 

Sylvester supports one trainee every year to travel to the CABTRAC annual meeting. University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is a member of CABTRAC and Sylvester’s Associate Director of Education and Training, Kerry Burnstein, PhD, is the 2017-2018 President for this national organization working closely with over 80 institutions as well as with the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Training Branch. For information on the purpose of the group and the annual meeting, please see http://cabtrac.org/


Monthly Trainee Seminars at the Research Programs

Three research programs at Sylvester host monthly trainee seminars. The Cancer Epigenetics, Tumor Biology and Cancer Control research programs encourage trainees to present their research to faculty and other trainees at these monthly meetings where there is an opportunity to receive feedback and make connections with other researchers in their area of interest.


Tumor Biology Pilot Grant Competition

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to support and facilitate the highest quality basic and translational research proposals submitted by research trainees (non-faculty members) from laboratories whose PIs are members of the Tumor Biology Research Program. The grant award is intended to provide seed money for a project area developed primarily by the trainee and for trainees to gain experience and reviewer feedback to aid future grant development and preparation efforts. For information please contact: Carla Palma cpalma@med.miami.edu | (305) 243-1762


CONTACT the Office of Education and Training

For any of the programs above, please contact the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Office of Education and Training at 305-243-2287.

Sarah Sandiford, Manager, Office of Education and Training sls324@miami.edu 

Sherldene Burke, Sheila and David Fuente Graduate Program in Cancer Biology sxb963@med.miami.edu 

Bianca Perez, Sr Grants Administrator bvp13@med.miami.edu

Vaughn Edelson, Sr Project Coordinator vte3@med.miami.edu

Rositsa Kalinova, Program Coordinator, Special Events rik12@med.miami.edu


The Postdoctoral Programs Office (PPO) at the University of Miami

The PPO is committed to providing all postdocs university-wide with a supportive environment, resources, workshops, and seminars to enrich the training experience and facilitate personal growth and professional development.  Please see postdoc.miami.edu for more information.