About the Program

California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) has established a partnership with the National Cancer Institute designated Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (SBMRI) Cancer Center. The goals of the partnership are: a) enhance cancer research potential at Fresno State (a minority serving institution), b) train cohorts of undergraduate and graduate students for future cancer research careers, and c) track students to evaluate program progress. Additionally, the Central Valley Health Policy Institute (CVHPI) will provide resources for student research, training and community outreach. The partnership combines the strengths of all three institutions in offering cancer biology education, research, and training in the Fresno State curricula. The program facilitates an intensive exposure of Fresno State students to world-class SBMRI faculty, graduate and postdoctoral resources by mentoring students towards PhD degree programs. Moreover, it serves to develop core-facility expertise in cancer research techniques/instrumentation at Fresno State and enhance SBMRI accessibility to underrepresented minority student populations.

The specific aims of the partnership are:

  1. To study cancer incidence in the ethnically-prominent Central California. Two pilot projects are serving to address critical health issues—pancreatic cancer and breast cancer in the Hispanic population. Each project focuses on molecular analyses of cancers via screening by mass spectrometry/proteomics or NMR/metabolomics. These will augment Fresno State resources and optimize data collection for faculty to successfully undertake cancer-related projects
  2. To train minority students during the summer at SBMRI, UCSD, CVHPI and at Fresno State within the cancer research projects during the school year.