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Cancer Control Training in Disparities and Equity Program

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T32 Summary

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center (Sylvester) and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine are accepting applicants for a 2-year mentored post-doctoral fellowship in cancer disparities and equity across the cancer control continuum. C-TIDE is interdisciplinary program that targets training in multilevel determinants (e.g., biological, medical, social, psychosocial) of cancer etiology, prevention, risk, progression, adjustment, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and other health- and patient-reported outcomes (PROs). The program is supported by an NCI T32 award with the goal to develop the next generation of cancer disparities researchers.

The program provides exceptional training and the necessary competencies for postdoctoral fellows to develop independent, successful, high-impact research and careers in cancer disparities and health equity.

Program Structure:

The program is supported by 24 primary mentors who are funded PIs. Mentors include 15 Ph.D.s, 6 M.D.s, and 4 M.D./Ph.D.s across 8 departments. Collectively, mentors have outstanding expertise in cancer epigenetics, tumor biology, and biobehavioral mechanisms; sociocultural, behavioral, and psychosocial determinants of health; community-based screening, lifestyle modification and symptom management, and survivorship interventions. Training (e.g., didactics, seminars, online modules) aligns with the competencies to be gained (e.g., social determinants of cancer disparities, intervention science, grant writing) and capitalizes on Sylvester and the Miller School’s access to specific subgroups (e.g., occupational, sexual/gender identity, race/ethnicity, elderly) and expertise in applied methods (e.g., community-based participatory research, social epidemiology, epigenetics, psychosocial oncology, eHealth, sociocultural processes). Training is complemented by enrollment in the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) or Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Investigation (M.S.C.T.I.). Two training tracks are offered with opportunities for cross-track training and research:

Track A: Multi-level determinants of cancer disparities in etiology, risk, care and outcomes.

  • Cancer epigenetics, tumor biology and biobehavioral mechanisms
  • Sociocultural and SES context
  • Psychosocial and behavioral determinants

Track B: Innovative interventions to reduce cancer disparities and improve outcomes.

  • Community-based screening interventions
  • Lifestyle modification interventions to reduce cancer risk
  • Symptom management, survivorship and care delivery interventions


We have assembled a team of Sylvester members who will serve as mentors for this program. All mentors are currently supported by R01 and/or R01 equivalent funding. Their research expertise, while centered in cancer epigenetics, spans the areas of hematologic malignancies, carcinogenesis, cancer genomics, cancer biology, signal transduction, drug discovery, cancer control, and bioinformatics. 

Abreu, Maria, M.D. - Dr. Abreu's lab provides trainees a T32 Disparities GI; IBD; NCI T32 GI and Hepatology Research Training Program.

Antoni, Michael, Ph.D. Dr. Antoni's lab will provide trainees with skills in transdisciplinary research developing and testing cognitive-behavioral stress management interventions in cancer patients.

Blomberg, Bonnie, Ph.D. - Trainees in Dr. Blomberg's lab study the effects of aging, increased inflammation, cancer, and obesity on the immune response.

Burnstein, Kerry, Ph.D. - Dr. Burnstein's lab offers trainees the opportunity to study therapeutic targets and metastatic prostate cancer.

Caban-Martinez, Alberto J., Ph.D., D.O., M.P.H - Dr. Dr. Caban-Martinez’s laboratory is focused on translational research in the area of occupational and environmental health and provides rigorous scientific evidence about effective ways to control and prevent cancer in the work environment. Trainees will focus on developing and implementing workplace interventions that promote safe work practices, healthy behaviors and healthy work environments focused on carcinogen reduction.

Carrasquillo, Olveen, M.D., M.P.H - Dr. Carrasquillo will provide trainees skills in researching health disparities and screening access for minorities.

Chen, Xi (Steven), Ph.D. - Dr. Chen’s laboratory will provide trainees with skills in statistical genomics, including epigenomics, and bioinformatics for cancer research.

Crane, Tracy E., Ph.D., R.D.N. - Dr. Crane’s research interests are focused on cancer prevention and control. Trainees will be trained in designs and tests interventions targeting modifiable lifestyle behaviors including diet, physical activity, and tobacco use.

El-Rifai, Wael, M.D., Ph.D. - Dr. El-Rifai provides unique cancer research training experiences in molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis, drug resistance, and targeted therapy. 

Feaster, Daniel, Ph.D. - Trainees in Dr. Feaster's lab will study the implementation and dissemination of evidence-based interventions addressing HIV, substance abuse and/or mental health.

Figueroa, Maria E., M.D. - Dr. Figueroa’s laboratory will provide trainees with skills in genome-wide approaches using primary leukemic cells, in vitro and in vivo modeling of these observations and, their translational application to the clinical setting.

Ishwaran, Hemant, Ph.D. - Dr. Ishwaran provides trainees skills in studying machine learning and the application of method random forests to problems in cardiovascular disease and cancer research.

Kim, Youngmee, Ph.D. - Dr. Kim's lab provides trainees experience in researching caregiving and dyadic adjustment in racial and ethnic minorities.

Kobetz, Erin, Ph.D. - Dr. Kobetz’s laboratory will provide trainees with skills in community-based participatory research, cancer prevention, and health disparities. 

Merchant, Nipun, M.D. - Trainees in Dr. Merchant's lab will investigate changes in the tumor microenvironment and alterations in immune response to enhance therapeutic efficacy in pancreatic cancer. 

Mesri, Enrique, Ph.D. - Dr. Mesri's lab provides trainees skills in researching the mechanisms of viral oncogenesis by the Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) in minorities. 

Nimer, Stephen, M.D. - Dr. Nimer’s laboratory will provide trainees with skills in exploring novel mechanism implicated in leukemogenesis and develop molecularly targeted therapies with cellular, molecular and epigenetic approaches.

Penedo, Frank, Ph.D. - Dr. Penedo provides trainees skills in translational research evaluating the impact of symptom and toxicities monitoring and management in ambulatory oncology.

Ramos, Juan C., M.D. - Trainees in Dr. Ramos's lab will gain experience in researching hematologic malignancies in Caribbean Blacks.

Rieger, Sandra, Ph.D.  - Dr. Rieger provides trainees with skills in researching neuropathy across cancer populations.

Schneiderman, Neil, Ph.D. - Dr. Schneiderman offers trainees the opportunity to study cultural and psychological risk factors in the Hispanic population.

Thomas, Emmanuel, M.D., Ph.D. - Trainees in Dr. Thomas's lab study Hepatitis B/C and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) through the lab's active viral hepatitis screening program.

Xu, Xiangxi, Ph.D. - Dr. Xu provides trainees with skills in researching epithelial changes and ovarian cancer.

Zuchner, Stephan L., M.D., Ph.D. - Dr. Zuchner offers trainees the opportunity to study genomics and ancestry analytics.

Eligibility Requirements
Please note, all nominees/applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered.

  • U.S. citizen
  • No previous participation in a T32
  • Ability to devote 100% research effort (75-100% for M.D.)
  • Completed terminal degree at appointment in Behavioral Sciences, Oncology, or other related discipline (Ph.D., M.D., M.D./Ph.D.)

Application Requirements
Please submit:

  • CV
  • Statement of training and research interests
  • Three recommendation letters

Please submit applications to:
Start date is flexible.

The University of Miami and the South Florida Community
UM and the NCI-designated Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center provide an exceptional platform for training and career development supported by a diverse and robust scientific portfolio in cancer control and related disciplines. UM is a major private research university with more than 17,000 students from around the world comprising a vibrant and diverse academic community focused on teaching and learning, the discovery of new knowledge, and service to the South Florida region and beyond. The South Florida metropolitan area is the seventh largest metropolitan area in the US with exceptional recreational and professional opportunities embedded in one of the most diverse and vibrant communities in the U.S.