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Yale Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) Training Program

The Yale CPC Training Program leverages strength from a Pre-Doctoral Program within the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH), and a Post-Doctoral Program within Yale Cancer Center (YCC) that draws from many disciplines but is administratively housed within YSPH. This structure and program, led by Dr. Melinda Irwin (Professor and Associate Dean of Research at YSPH and Associate Director of Population Sciences at YCC, and Dr. Xiaomei Ma (Professor at YSPH, co-founder of Yale’s Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research Center and co-leader of YCC’s CPC research program), provides an intellectual community and critical training in the skills required for the next generation of CPC researchers.

The objective of the Yale CPC Training Program is to provide Fellows with rigorous methodological and content-oriented training from a multidisciplinary perspective through research, coursework, mentorship, and other activities, so that Fellows are equipped with the tools necessary to establish and sustain careers as scientific investigators, contributing to advances in CPC. We select Fellows with interest, experience, and fit with at least one of the five thematic areas (noting that there is often overlap across these areas).

Our primary training strategies include a comprehensive mentoring system, research internships, workshops, a structured CPC Fellows Seminar Course to provide in-depth training in important CPC research areas, integration with resources from YSPH,YSM, YCC and Yale in general (e.g., workshops, seminars, training programs), and doctoral level training for our Pre-Doctoral Fellows including classes, teaching training, qualifying exams and the dissertation. The Yale CPC Training Program promotes interaction of Fellows with the YCC research programs and disease-aligned research teams (DARTs), which are composed of clinicians and scientists conducting cancer research and delivering cancer care.


Melinda Irwin, PhD, MPH, Program Director

Melinda Irwin, PhD, MPH, is Associate Dean of Research and Professor of Epidemiology in YSPH, Associate Director for Population Sciences at YCC, and Deputy Director of Public Health for YCCI. She is also the Co-Committee Chair of the SWOG Cancer Research Network Survivorship Committee. Dr. Irwin is a prominent leader in the field of cancer prevention and control research. She has been the PI of 13 externally funded research projects in the last 15 years, including three NCI R01 projects and one NCI R25 project. Her NCI- and foundation-funded research has focused on randomized controlled trials of exercise, diet, and weight loss interventions on intermediate cancer endpoints, treatment side effects, and quality of life in men and women diagnosed with cancer. She serves on various national advisory committees to develop consensus statements on physical activity, diet, weight, and cancer prevention and control. Dr. Irwin has a strong commitment to the teaching and training of students, fellows and junior faculty. She teaches a YSPH course annually, entitled “Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle Interventions” which covers the causes and consequences of obesity, and lifestyle interventions to prevent and treat obesity.

Xiaomei Ma, PhD, Program Director

Xiaomei Ma, PhD, is Professor of Epidemiology in YSPH and Co-Leader of the CPC Research Program at YCC. She founded the Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center at Yale with Dr. Cary Gross in 2010. With formal training in medicine and epidemiology, Dr. Ma conducts both etiologic and cancer outcomes research. She has served as the PI of 16 externally funded research projects in the last 15 years, including three R01s funded by NCI and a R01 equivalent (one of three studies in a Program Project) funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Her major research areas include the environmental and genetic risk factors of pediatric cancer, screening and clinical management of cancer, and cost of cancer care. Over the last 15 years, Dr. Ma has taught three graduate-level courses at Yale, including “Developing a Research Proposal”, which focuses on the design of NIH-style grant proposals. She has advised more than 70 master students, doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and medical residents/fellows, as well as many junior faculty members. She was the PI of the previous Yale T32 training grant on Cancer Epidemiology.