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Curriculum

Core Requirements
  1. Completing the following required courses for a grade:
    • HSERV 600 - Independent Study
    • EPI 540 - Introduction to Cancer Biology (Spring in even years)
    • EPI 524 - Epidemiologic Studies of Cancer Etiology and Prevention (Winter)

    Students may have additional course requirements depending on their prior background and research goals, or they may waive certain requirements under the guidance of their mentoring committee.

    Suggested Optional Courses:
    • HSERV 581 - Strategies of Health Promotion (Spring)
    • HSERV 584 - Assessing Outcomes in Health and Medicine
      (highly recommended)
    • HSERV 588 - Community Approaches to Health Promotion (Winter)
    • EPI 590 - Cancer Health Disparities (TBD)
  2. Enrolling each quarter in "Biobehavioral Cancer Fellowship Enrichment" as a one credit course. Mentors will verify the completion of this credit.
    • HSERV 592 - Biobehavioral Cancer Fellowship Enrichment

    This credit consists of a Quarterly Fellows meeting (three per year), monthly Biobehavior Faculty meetings (Affinity Group), and the Learning Contract.

    Fellows must complete a Learning Contract each year and make significant progress towards achieving the goals outlined in the contract. The Learning Contract needs to be reviewed with your Mentors and Dr. Donald Patrick. This must be completed and signed by December 1st of each year.

  3. Attending national conferences or workshops on biobehavioral cancer prevention and control.
  4. Completing Human Subjects and Responsible Conduct of Research training.
  5. All trainees are required to take at least the "Basic Social/Behavioral Course" course in the Protection of Human Research Subjects. All trainees are required to take the online HIPAA training. Each trainee will also be required to take the Biomedical Research Integrity Program which is sponsored by the Department of Bioethics & Humanities; School of Medicine at the University of Washington. This program meets the PHS requirement for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research in National Research Service Award Institutional Training Grants. The program covers the following topics (representing five of the seven required topics) described in the NIH Guide:

    • Conflict of interest
    • Data acquisition and ownership
    • Peer review
    • Responsible authorship
    • Research misconduct

    They offer three rounds of BRI case discussion groups each summer. Each case discussion group will include cases covering two required RCR topics and one non-required topics - e.g., cases in a given session might address conflict of interest, peer review and collaborative science. This approach provides trainees with useful redundancy in case review and acknowledges the many overlaps in RCR topics.

Additional Requirements for Pre-Doctoral Trainees
  1. Completing the required coursework for the PhD in the student's home department (see affiliate PhD programs below)
  2. Completing the required examinations for the PhD in the student's home department. All departments require that PhD candidates pass written qualifying exams, a general exam that is both written and oral and a dissertation defense or final exam.
  3. Completing a dissertation in biobehavioral research and intervention, communications, or outcomes that also meets the requirements of the student's home department. Dissertation research will begin during years 3 and 4 of the pre-doctoral training program and in some instances, year 2 if the candidate arrives with a master's degree.


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Additional Requirements for Post-Doctoral Trainees
  1. Coursework to fill gaps in prior academic training and to provide training in the core competencies identified for all trainees. All post-doctoral fellows will take the required core courses unless they have completed equivalent courses at another institution. Other class work will depend on the fellows' background. Those with limited background in social and behavioral sciences will take the social science courses. Those with a limited background in epidemiology and biostatistics will take the basic sequence in biostatistics (BIOSTAT 511,512,513) and epidemiology (EPI 512, 513).
  2. Substantial involvement in biobehavioral research (theories and interventions in behavior change, communications, and outcomes research). Post-doctoral fellows become involved immediately in research (often before arrival) in collaboration with their mentors. We match all post-doctoral trainees with mentors prior to admission. The goal is to train post-doctoral fellows as quickly as possible in order that they begin adding published papers in biobehavioral research to their record. Their publication track record, with emphasis on multi-disciplinary work, their presentations at cancer meetings, and their recommendations from faculty constitute their credentials when they leave the program.
  3. Opportunities to attend national conferences on cancer prevention and control.
  4. Completion of Web site or in-person human subjects course.
  5. Mentorship of post-doctoral fellows includes assistance with career-related activities such as pursuit of a faculty position or a K award.


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Course Descriptions
HSERV 575 - Cancer Prevention and Control
Instructors: Rachel Ceballos, PhD, coordinator with the Steering Committee and others participating)
Credits: 3 credits

Health Services 575 is a basic course for both predoctoral and postdoctoral students that surveys the types of research, the types of methodologies, and the types of applications involved in cancer prevention and control as taught through participating faculty using existing research projects. It emphasizes all types of research including genetics, cognitive neuroscience, psychoneuroimmunology, pharmacology, communication theory, and palliative care as an introduction to trans-disciplinary research. Primary and secondary prevention, as well as outcomes, are areas of emphasis. All trainees take this course (pre-doctoral and post-doctoral) and complete a PHS398 grant application and submit it to the seminar participants for formal peer-review and evaluation in a mock study section.

HSERV 584 - Assessing Outcomes in Health and Medicine
Instructor: Donald Patrick, PhD, MSPH
Credits: 3 credits

Concepts and methods for evaluating cost and outcomes of health and medical interventions with a focus on cost-effectiveness analysis., pharmacoeconomics, health and quality of life assessment, resource allocation, and medical decision-making. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

HSERV 592 - Biobehavioral Cancer Fellowship Enrichment
Offered Autumn, Winter, Spring
Instructors: (Ramsey, Thompson, Meischke, Patrick, Beresford, Taylor, Syrjala)
Credits: All trainees register for 1 credit every quarter of their fellowship training

This seminar course permits exposure to outside speakers, internal discussions of new proposals and new research directions, and trainee presentations of research ideas and directions. This includes the Quarterly Fellows Sessions, which culminates each spring in a public symposium. Also includes an Ethics Seminar and Biobehavioral Cancer Seminar at the Hutch. The overall focus is on theory and applied methods for conducting population-based cancer outcomes research. Participants learn applications of methods in estimating cancer attributable costs, design of joint clinical/economic trials, methods, and studies of quality of life issues as applied to cancer screening and treatment.

EPI 524 Epidemiologic Studies of Cancer Etiology and Prevention
Offered Winter
Instructors: Li, Rossing
Credits: 3

Current knowledge of the role that chemicals, radiation, viruses, familial factors, immunodeficiencies, and benign diseases play in the etiology of various cancers, as determined from studies in human populations; the epidemiologic characteristics of most major types of cancer; applications of epidemiologic principles to planning and evaluating programs of primary, secondary, and tertiary cancer prevention.

EPI 540 Introduction to Cancer Biology
Offered Spring in even years
Instructors: Madeleine
Credits: 3

Provides general understanding of cancer biology, covering the carcinogenic process and various biological causes of cancer. Integrates knowledge from different fields of cancer research, guiding students through diverse literature on cancer and carcinogenesis.

Self-Study course equivalent to the prerequisites for EPI 540

HSERV 581 Strategies of Health Promotion
Offered Spring
Instructors: Hannon
Credits: 4

Assessment of health promotion planning, implementation, and evaluation strategies for their strengths, weaknesses, and effectiveness. Students critique strategies to modify behavioral factors that influence lifestyles of individuals, including decisions influencing their reciprocal relationship with environmental factors affecting the health of individuals, organizations, and communities.

HSERV 588 Community Approaches to Health Promotion
Offered Winter
Instructors: Thompson
Credits: 3

Provides opportunities to critically examine community-based health promotion interventions and the design, evaluation, and implementation issues they raise. A wide range of disciplinary perspectives is presented. Case studies and class projects are designed to give students the skills needed to critically assess community projects around health promotion.


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