The Cancer Biology Graduate Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (historically the Ph.D. Program in Oncology) was established at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research in 1952 as the first graduate program in the United States to offer a Ph.D. degree in basic cancer research. The past and current McArdle Laboratory faculty include a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology and National Medal of Science; recipients of the Bristol Myers Award in Cancer Research; seven members of the National Academy of Sciences; four past presidents of the American Association for Cancer Research; two recipients of American Cancer Society Research (ASC) Professorships and four ACS Junior Faculty Research Awards. Two of McArdle’s current faculty have received DOD Breast Cancer Era of Hope Scholars Awards. In addition, faculty serve or have served as members of the National Cancer Advisory Board, the President’s Cancer Panel, and multiple NIH and ACS peer review panels. The McArdle Laboratory is recognized for the discovery of reverse transcriptase, for demonstrating the formation of DNA adducts by carcinogenic chemicals, for the development of the currently used chemotherapeutic drug, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), for establishing the biochemical bases of combination chemotherapy, and for delineating the progressive nature of cancer development.
While the original program was driven primarily through faculty in McArdle Laboratory, the current faculty trainer list is greatly expanded to represent the cancer biology research carried out on this campus. The program now includes over 50 trainers from 15 departments across the UW-Madison campus, drawing from the membership of the UW Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC). The departments include Oncology, Medicine, Human Oncology, Cell and Regenerative Biology, Medical Microbiology, Biomolecular Chemistry, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Pediatrics, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Comparative Biosciences, Surgery, Urology, and Pharmaceutical Sciences. This interdepartmental structure offers remarkably diverse training opportunities for our students that span from basic to translational science.