Molecular Oncology & Tumor Immunology PhD Training Program | NYU Langone Health

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PhD Training Programs Molecular Oncology & Tumor Immunology PhD Training Program

Molecular Oncology & Tumor Immunology PhD Training Program

The Molecular Oncology and Tumor Immunology PhD Training Program at NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s Vilcek Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences offers candidates a choice of research focus in either cancer biology or tumor immunology. The program has been supported by the Molecular Oncology and Immunology Training Grant (T32 CA009161) funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute for more than 45 years.

Our program emphasizes the molecular, genetic, cellular, and pathophysiological aspects of cancer and immunity, as well as translational discovery and clinical cancer biology. Coursework provides a solid foundation in all aspects of modern cancer biology and immunology and the interrelationship between the two disciplines.

As a PhD candidate, you conduct research that incorporates the study of animal models and human disease, as well as molecular, genetic, and cell biological approaches. Laboratory research opportunities run the gamut of basic and translational studies of cancer cell biology and include the following:

  • applied approaches to cancer and immunity such as targeted tumor cell killing, tumor gene therapy, production of antitumor vaccines, and immunological and molecular approaches to cancer therapy, including immunotherapy
  • basic studies of tumor initiation, progression, and metastasis over a wide range of cancer models, including lung, breast, prostate, bladder, and pancreatic cancer; melanoma; neuroblastoma; and leukemias
  • bioinformatics approaches to identify transcriptional, translational, post-translational, and epigenetic alterations in bulk tumors and single cell sub-populations
  • cancer cell metabolism
  • cell cycle control
  • function of oncogenes and tumor suppressors
  • immune cell activation and function within tumors, and identification of novel immune-based cancer therapies
  • immune cell trafficking within tumors, lymphatics, and the circulation
  • maintenance of genome and chromosome integrity
  • regulation of gene expression and signal transduction pathways
  • regulation of protein degradation

Our program brings together investigators from across NYU Grossman School of Medicine who employ tools of molecular biology and genetics; sophisticated imaging technologies; and genome-wide genetic, chemical, metabolomic, and proteomic analysis of cancer and immunity.

Learn more about admissions, curriculum and course listings, and mentoring faculty.

Contact Us

For additional information about the program, contact Thales Y. Papagiannakopoulos, PhD, program director, at, or Amanda W. Lund, PhD, graduate advisor, at For information about Vilcek Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, email

PhD Program Admissions

Find more information about applying to Vilcek Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.

Life as a Grad Student

Learn about the diverse experiences of graduate students at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

Course Catalog

View our PhD training program courses and descriptions.