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All trainees are expected to acquire a wide range of experience in basic biobehavioral research, in the delivery of cancer prevention and control interventions, and in evaluation of outcomes. These include the following skills:

  • Grant preparation, including literature review and critique
  • Coordinate piece of existing project
  • Present findings at scientific meetings and to lay audience
  • Write articles for peer reviewed literature
  • Coordinate and run meetings of scientific investigators, including preparation of agenda and minutes
  • Learn new body of material from related or unrelated fields
  • Patient recruitment strategies including monitoring and promotional materials for patient recruitment
  • Design an intervention including preparation of communication materials
  • Budgeting, human subjects, internal peer review process (to learn external review process)
  • Prepare abstracts for submission to meetings

These skills will be obtained by trainees joining funded research projects as participating investigators or may develop ancillary studies to these projects using grant funds provided by this training program. The currently funded research of program faculty is listed below. In addition, trainees will have the opportunity to use data from completed studies to conduct secondary data analyses. Because many intervention studies in biobehavioral cancer prevention and control have been completed and current funded ones often take 3-15 years to complete, the opportunity to conduct secondary analyses is important. Through their coursework, in particular participation in the seminars offered through the Biobehavioral and Outcomes Affinity groups at the FHCRC, trainees will develop skills to conduct independent research, most often through an ancillary study to a funded research project.

We expect post-doctoral fellows to spend the majority of their training participating in research with program faculty, including during the first year in which they will be taking coursework specifically related to biobehavioral cancer prevention and control (the 4 required courses). Those who elect to earn the MPH are expected to be involved at least half time in research and half-time in coursework and thus electives will be limited to only those required for the degree or to fill significant gaps in previous training. For trainees in the MPH, the topic of the master's thesis must be related to biobehavioral research and interventions, health communications, or outcomes related to cancer prevention and control.

Research Sites

Participation in research is a major element as well as a requirement of the training program with opportunities available at the following sites:

Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC)

The HPRC, located at the University of Washington, is one of 23 dedicated prevention research centers in the United States. The center is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through their Prevention Research Center Program. Studies carried out by the Center through community partnerships develop and test methods for older adults to improve their health, well-being, and level of function. HPRC's many community partners include: Spokane County Health Department, African American Elder's Project Planning Partnership Group, Northwest Geriatric Education Center, Washington State Department of Health's Office of Health Promotion, Seattle Partners for Healthy Communities, Good Samaritan Community Healthcare, the Senior Wellness Project, Senior Services of Seattle/King County, City of Seattle Division of Aging and Disability Services, Asian Counseling and Referral Services.

Center for Cost and Outcomes Research (CCOR)

CCOR brings together researchers to conduct cost-effectiveness and outcomes research studies that are enhanced by the collaboration of experts from multiple disciplines, including the clinical specialties, biostatistics, economics, epidemiology, health behavior, health status measurement and health services. CCOR emphasizes:

  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Research in which the cost of a health care intervention, as well as its outcome, is important
  • Studies to improve the definition and measurement of health outcomes
  • The evaluation of alternative approaches to treatment, prevention, health promotion, and new technology
  • Evaluation of different organizational arrangements for delivering health services

In addition, CCOR's research includes studies of applications of the social and behavioral sciences to find more effective ways to change the behavior of providers, patients and/or populations. CCOR offers researchers access to co-investigators from a broad range of disciplines. The Center facilitates access to large databases supported by programming expertise and software tools. It also provides support for economic analyses and survey research. Expertise is available in the measurement of quality of life, health status, health outcomes and patient and provider satisfaction. Finally, the Center provides access to research opportunities for fellows, residents and students.

Center for Disability Policy and Research (CDPR)

The Center for Disability Policy and Research shapes disability policy and service delivery. We conduct policy analyses of health and human services designed to prevent and minimize impact of disabling conditions.

CDPR integrates and coordinates existing services, and assures access to high quality health services for people with disabilities. The CDPR conducts research on the disablement process and disabling conditions, the health needs of people with disabilities, the personal, and the delivery of health and human services to people with disabilities and their families.

CDPR trains practitioners, administrators, and policy-makers in disability policy and research and disseminates information concerning important disability policy and research issues.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Program (CPRP)

CPRP conducts research on community-level health interventions, including behavior change and proven methods of early detection and treatment to lower cancer incidence. Members of the faculty conduct epidemiologic research to find new environmental factors that cause or contribute to common cancers and to test whether removal of such factors from the environment will prevent cancer in free-living individuals. Most recently, CPRP has added a further element with etiologic studies and intervention studies aimed at elucidating gene-environment interventions and exploring intermediate metabolism and markers in controlled intensive intervention studies.

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA)

The SCCA is a collaboration between the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington, and Seattle Childrens. A major focus of the SCCA is to transfer new diagnostic and treatment techniques more rapidly from research settings to the community, advancing the standard of care available throughout the Pacific Northwest. The inpatient units at SCCA consist of a 38-bed pediatric hematology/oncology unit at Children's, and three adult hematology/oncology units at UW Medical Center totaling 86 beds. In addition to the new inpatient units, both Children's and UW Medical Center have newly constructed state-of-the-art outpatient clinic space for hematology/oncology patients. In addition to hospital-based services, a comprehensive array of outpatient services will be available at the Alliance's unique, multidisciplinary ambulatory clinic, which is under construction on the Hutchinson Center's Lake Union campus near downtown Seattle.

Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health (CEEH)

CEEH researchers study the way that genetic and environmental factors combine to influence susceptibility to diseases, including cancer, asthma, birth defects, and neurological disorders. The Center's 45 core investigators hold appointments in 14 departments within the UW Schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Pharmacy. The Center's organizational structure encourages collaboration among these distinguished scientists. Scientists of different disciplines work together in five research cores, and in six facility cores that provide specialized research tools and support. Many diseases have both genetic and environmental origins, and appropriate public health action must acknowledge the profound ethical, legal and social issues involved. The Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues (ELSI) Core within CEEH focuses on these issues by providing an infrastructure for research, education, and service. The ELSI Core also works closely with the UW program for Public Health Genetics in the Context of Law, Ethics and Policy, which provides academic training in ELSI issues and fosters multi-disciplinary research related to public health genetics.

Group Health Cooperative'S Center for Health Studies (CHS)

Founded in 1983, CHS conducts epidemiological and health services research of relevance to Group Health Cooperative (GHC) and the public domain. The Center employs 20 scientific investigators, seven research associates, three biostatisticians and a staff of approximately 225 full- and part-time individuals. CHS is experienced in the conduct of clinical trials, as evidenced by participation in several large, national trials. CHS has clinical research sites in Seattle and Redmond, Washington. CHS researchers have access to decades of data and medical records of a population of over 300,000 GHC enrollees. The Center's Information Technology Division provides programming and analysis; designs tracking databases, automated chart review systems, data warehouses, and web sites; maintains and updates Center-wide computer equipment and technologies; and provides training for CHS staff. CHS researchers head the Cancer Research Network, an NCI-funded project to study cancer prevention and control among the nine million people enrolled in 10 member HMOs.

Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)

The SEER Program of the NCI currently collects and publishes cancer incidence and survival data from 11 population-based cancer registries, including the Seattle-Puget Sound area, and three supplemental registries covering approximately 14 percent of the U.S. population. Information on more than 2.5 million in situ and invasive cancer cases is included in the SEER database, and approximately 160,000 new cases are accessioned each year within the SEER catchment areas. The SEER registries routinely collect data on patient demographics, primary tumor site, morphology, stage at diagnosis, first course of treatment, and follow-up for vital status. The SEER Program is the only comprehensive source of population-based information in the US that includes stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis and survival rates within each stage. The Seattle registry is located at FHCRC, and access to SEER data is available to students in this training program.