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Undergraduate Training in Mammary Gland Biology and Breast Cancer

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Annual summary rept. 1 May 2003-30 Apr 2006

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This research report describes the third and final year of the BCRT undergraduate research training program in breast cancer. The goal of this project was to provide undergraduate trainees with exposure to areas of breast cancer research that focus on the role of microenvironment in mammary gland biology and in the development of neoplasia. Trainees in this project benefited from working in a program that investigates the intersection of hormones, growth factors, and extracellular matrix ECM signaling and remodeling during mammary gland morphogenesis, differentiation, and carcinogenesis. The program was advertised through several undergraduate research forums on the UC Berkeley campus, and more than forty applications were received. From these, eight applicants were selected to represent a balance of interests and approaches, with broad levels of expertise ranging from laboratory novices to students with many years of laboratory experience. During the research portion of the program, undergraduate trainees had frequent interaction with mentors and with advanced postdoctoral fellows, and reports were presented in organized, biweekly meetings structured to reflect the organization of a research paper. At the first meeting, the students presented the introduction to their research project at the second, the materials and methods at the third, the results. For the final meeting of the program, the students presented their work in complete form, including conclusions and interpretations. While the success at obtaining experimental results within the allotted time of the research program varies, all the participants both students and preceptors agreed that the overall experience was successful.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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