VAI receives grant for cancer research program

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Peter Jones Courtesy Van Andel Institute

The National Cancer Institute awarded Van Andel Institute a five-year, $1.7 million grant to establish a cutting-edge training program for postdoctoral fellows in cancer epigenetics, a growing field with untold potential to impact human health.

The new cancer epigenetics training program combines professional development with interdisciplinary research training by VAI’s internationally recognized cadre of experts.

Postdoctoral trainees also will have access to the institute’s shared scientific resources and technologies as well as opportunities to participate in established translational research programs and partnerships led by VAI investigators.

Epigenetic abnormalities are universally found across cancers and serve as major drivers for malignancy, making them promising new targets for the development of novel cancer therapies. As such, the field — and its capacity for producing breakthroughs — is rapidly expanding.

“In the past few years, VAI has become a global destination for groundbreaking, collaborative cancer epigenetics research,” VAI Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Peter A. Jones said. “Postdoctoral trainees will emerge from our cancer epigenetics training program with extensive, rigorous training and a solid foundation from which to launch their independent research careers.”

Jones and VAI Associate Professor Dr. Scott Rothbart will lead the program in collaboration with Dr. Erica Gobrogge, program director of VAI’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. The program also benefits from the guidance of its advisory committee, which includes renowned scientists from across the U.S.

VAI’s cancer epigenetics training program is now accepting applications from candidates who are near completion of a Ph.D., M.D. or other appropriate terminal degree. For a full list of eligibility criteria, visit VAI’s website.

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