The mission of the CMCT is to provide leadership for the expansion of programs of excellence in environmental health sciences education and research and to prepare students for careers that address the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which environmental agents instigate toxicity and disease, including cancer. In addition, there is an emphasis on research to identify strategies for prevention and treatment of environmentally-induced disease.
The CMCT fosters interdisciplinary undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral training in molecular carcinogenesis and toxicology by providing a formal means by which students can interface with a diverse cadre of faculty performing toxicology research. To accomplish this goal, CMCT faculty come from a variety of colleges and departments of The University of Texas at Austin including: the Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology and the Division of Chemical Biology & Medicinal Chemistry of the College of Pharmacy; the Departments of Nutritional Sciences, Marine Science, and Cell and Molecular Biology in the College of Natural Sciences; the department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental engineering of the College of Engineering; and the Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis and Epidemiology of the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center-Science Park (UTMDACC-SP).
Student trainees who work under the mentorship of the CMCT faculty participants are actively engaged in research projects that help guide them to pursue advanced training in toxicology (for undergraduate students), lead to a Ph.D. dissertation (for predoctoral trainees), or develop independent research projects (for postdoctoral fellows). During their research training experiences, students learn specific techniques to carry out the research, experimental design, statistical analysis, and presentation of research findings in oral and written forms. Through interactions across departments, the training faculty and students have access to state-of-the-art facilities that allow for the seamless integration of novel genomic, proteomic, molecular, histopathologic, and imaging technologies into their research projects.
The distinguished group of faculty mentors participating in the CMCT have active independent research programs in diverse areas of toxicology. However, each of the CMCT faculty’s research shares a focus on deciphering the underlying cellular, biochemical, and molecular responses to environmental exposures. This common vision of the training faculty and the contemporary state-of-the-art biochemical, molecular, and cellular approaches that they employ in their experimental approaches coalesce to make this a distinctive and cohesive research and educational training program in molecular and cellular toxicology.