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Proteogenomics Training Program

The training program in Advanced Proteogenomics of Cancer, funded by the National Cancer Institute, supports and provides training for graduate students performing cancer-related research.

The National Cancer Institute has made a substantial investment in new technology platforms for cancer proteomics, especially through the Mouse Models of Human Cancers and the Clinical Proteomic Technologies for Cancer.

This investment is expected to result in greatly increased application of proteomics to cancer research. 

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The proteome is critical to understanding functional genomics and systems biology of cancers and to the discovery and validation of biomarker candidates and molecular targets for therapy and prevention.

Sophisticated analysis of proteomes requires advanced informatics to deal with the complexity of specimens, the extreme dynamic range of protein concentrations, post-translational modifications, alternative splice isoforms, responses to all sorts of perturbations, and differences in databases. The current scarcity of trained scientists in this subdiscipline of bioinformatics is the focus of this T32 training grant.

The PCTP builds on our successful experience with the Bioinformatics Graduate Program, based in the university-wide Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics (CCMB). This program takes advantage of the robust community of cancer researchers, bioinformaticians, statisticians, chemists, and software engineers at the University of Michigan to focus on major challenges in proteome data analysis. Trainees come from diverse backgrounds and will receive training in cancer biology, bioinformatics, and computer science through courses, seminars, journal club, and annual retreats. The main goal of this training program is to provide a new pool of scientists well-equipped for independent careers in cancer research, contributing to NCI goals.

Student trainees will be expected to participate in all PCTP courses and other activities. Mentors will participate in PCTP activities as outlined in the program summary.

Nomination Process

A call for nominations will be sent to all affiliated faculty on an annual basis. Nominations of students outside of the Bioinformatics Program are welcome. Faculty sponsors who are not yet members of the PCTP should also submit a description of the research environment of their laboratory, including the mentoring plan. They should also indicate their willingness to participate in PCTP activities and apply to join PCTP faculty.

Program Requirements

Trainees are also expected to take courses in four of five key areas (Molecular Biology, Databases and Computing, Probability and Statistics, Biophysics and Structural Biology, and Systems Modeling and Analysis) in order to demonstrate reasonable competence in these fields. Students are encouraged to take courses offered by the Cancer Biology Program.

Trainees are expected to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Participate in core courses and program activities
  • Include at least one PCTP core faculty member on the dissertation committee (other than the dissertation advisor)
  • Annually update their research descriptions
  • Provide reporting information required by the funding agency

In addition, trainees must acknowledge the training grant in all publications referencing research while appointed. In accordance with NIH requirements, all publications need to be submitted to PubMed Central. To help with understanding how to do this task, our Library has created a Canvas Course for you to walk through to learn how to navigate the compliance process. It can be found here:

In addition to ensuring that the PCTP trainees fulfill their obligations to the PCTP program, faculty mentors are expected to participate in PCTP events, administration, and courses. Events include the Fall Kickoff for the Bioinformatics program, workshops, and recruitment events.