Cancer Prevention Interdisciplinary Education Program (CPIP)

Research Goals of CPIP

It is estimated that development and effective application of cancer prevention strategies could substantially reduce cancer deaths. There is a need to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of cancer prevention interventions by enhancing research efforts focused on risk assessment, systems biology, behavior modifications, environmental and policy influences, medical and nutritional approaches. To address this need, training and education for researchers, early in their careers, in issues relevant to cancer prevention research with a broad interdisciplinary approach is required. A Cancer Prevention Interdisciplinary education Program (CPIP) is proposed, building on the focus and expertise of cancer prevention interdisciplinary research at Purdue University. The central hypothesis is that development of an undergraduate and graduate interdisciplinary program in cancer prevention will:

  1. Increase interest in the pursuit of graduate studies and subsequent careers in cancer prevention research;
  2. Provide exposure to all aspects of the field at a critical time to prepare students to better approach research problems,
  3. Prepare these students for successful careers in cancer prevention research.

These hypotheses will be tested by two specific aims:

  1. Develop and test an interdisciplinary curriculum for undergraduates that will create a new pool of scientists who will effectively address research problems in cancer prevention; and
  2. Develop and test an interdisciplinary curriculum for graduate students that will create a new pool of scientists who will effectively address research problems in cancer prevention.

Both student populations will participate in a curriculum to introduce issues specific to cancer prevention research across broad interdisciplinary lines, participate in community-based service learning projects to address issues in cancer prevention and also complete mentored research projects with a cancer prevention focus. The interdisciplinary strengths of the research team and substantial institutional support for interdisciplinary research and this project, innovative learning projects and a campus wide focus on cancer prevention research makes Purdue University an ideal site to develop and test the proposed innovative curriculum. Development, testing and dissemination of this curriculum will enhance efforts in the cancer prevention research field nation wide. Subsequently, increasing the pool of scientists with an understanding of the interdisciplinary issues in cancer prevention research will greatly enhance the progress to develop cancer prevention strategies and reduce cancer deaths, consistent with the mission of the National Cancer Institute.