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Career Training in Oncology Program (CTOP)



The Markey Cancer Center (MCC) has established a new educational pipeline program: the MCC Career Training in Oncology (CTOP) Program. In the program, UK Appalachian undergraduate students have the opportunity to gain cancer research, clinical, outreach and education experiences that will enrich their interest in pursuing a cancer-focused career.

  • Our goals

    • To provide a core cancer research experience for participants through cross-disciplinary research training.
    • To motivate and support students with experiential training in cancer through courses, seminars and workshops that will build their research skills and confidence as future cancer-focused professionals.
    • To actively support and encourage outreach and dissemination opportunities for students locally, regionally and nationally.
  • Our plan

    Students will be paired with a research faculty mentor who will provide an enriching research experience and with a clinical faculty mentor who will provide a clinical perspective on cancer. Students will obtain didactic cancer education and participate in outreach activities. We will also form a peer-to-peer mentoring network in which current UK graduate students and CTOP students will meet formally at least once per month and more informally as desired. Within the academic year our students will be expected to dedicate at least 10 hours per week to the program, and during the summer, students will dedicate 40 hours per week.

    Ultimately, we will create an atmosphere of career development, lifelong learning, and sustained mentorship that will be focused on training the next generation of cancer researchers, education/prevention experts, and/or clinicians.

  • Eligibility

    To be eligible for the program, students must:

    1. Be a native of one of the 54 Appalachian Kentucky counties.
    2. Be a current UK freshman, sophomore, or junior.
    3. Display an interest in science, the pursuit of a professional or graduate degree, and show an interest in pursuing a cancer-focused career.
  • Contact

    Nathan L. Vanderford, PhD, MBA

    • Assistant Professor, Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
    • Assistant Director for Research, Markey Cancer Center
    • Assistant Dean for Academic Development, College of Medicine

    University of Kentucky

    Ben F. Roach Building 
    800 Rose Street, CC140 
    Lexington KY 40536-0096

    Phone: 859-323-2622