Dedicated to Education & Laboratory Training Opportunities for Undergraduates, Graduate Students, and Postdoctoral Researchers

Training & Instruction

Our faculty is committed to upholding one of the University’s longest and deepest held philosophies surrounding our academic environment, The Wisconsin Idea.  The Wisconsin Idea signifies the guiding principal: that the University’s beneficial influences must expand to people’s lives beyond the boundararies of the classroom and campus. This Idea has become the guiding philosophy of our research and training efforts and has propelled our long history of research and training excellence.  We have internationally recognized researchers in Cancer Virology, Cancer Genetics, and Tumor Biology.

Our faculty’s laboratories are housed in new buildings with state-of-the art research and support facilities to carry out their research.  Our administrative offices are located on the 6th floor/Tower II of Wisconsin Institute of Medical Research (WIMR), 1111 Highland Ave. The Wisconsin Institute of Medical Research Towers I & II for clinical and translation research were designed to allow researchers to work with scientists from other disciplines, speeding the transfer of science to clinicians working in the adjacent UW Hospital and the American Family’s Children’s Hospital.


Our postdoctoral trainees come from a wide variety of excellent graduate programs in the biological sciences.   We encourage current graduate students to contact one or more of our faculty before they complete their graduate studies to find out more information about our postdoctoral training program.


Our Cancer Biology Graduate Program, along with other biomedical sciences PhD programs, are at the center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s cancer research. Our goal is to train graduate students to become committed cancer researchers working as scholars and researchers to advance cancer research and treatment.

Our graduate-level oncology courses were developed to meet the evolving needs of our diverse group of students.  This includes providing: a foundation in cancer research; contemporary ethically training, and building a critical reading, writing, and presenting skill set.

Training in laboratory research is guided by our faculty who are the one-on-one mentors for our students.  The experience and commitment of our faculty to mentoring is essential to the success of our students.

Our PhD graduates obtain full-time employment immediately after graduation, pursuing advanced training in academic postdoctoral positions or in industry.


Cancer Biology Student/Postdoctoral Seminar Series (Mondays, Rm. 6571 WIMR II, 3:30-4:30 pm.  Our students and postdoctoral fellows present their research annually to all trainers, students, and postdoctoral fellows.  In this forum students and postdoctoral fellows learn to speak publicly to a receptive audience. They also learn to field questions about their research and to defend their conclusions derived from it.  Another benefit of these combined seminars is that all of the trainees hear the cancer research from all of the groups that participate, and over the years that they attend learn a broad swath of current cancer biology

Cancer Biology Seminar Series and Speaker-Chat (Wednesday, Rm. 1345 HSLC, 10:30-11:30 am, Speaker-Chat lunch to follow in McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research).  Guest lecturers who are leading experts in cancer research from the US and abroad are invited by students and postdoctoral fellows.  Our students and postdoctoral fellows also actively participate in small-group Speaker-Chat sessions with the speakers after their talks.  This seminar series and Speaker-Chats are specifically designed to foster critical interactions and dialogue between students and postdoctoral fellows and world experts. These Speaker-Chats also provide studens chances to explore a variety of outstanding opportunities for future postdoctoral positions. All of our students and postdoctoral fellows are expected to attend this seminar series and Speaker-Chat sessions.


Our undergraduate courses provide a strong foundational training focusing on basic oncology and biotechnology (ONC 401 and ONC 545).  In addition, undergraduate students in our laboratories gain hands-on experience in cutting-edge cancer laboratories (ONC 699).

Our courses help prepare undergraduates in the biomedical sciences to enter the work force directly in the biotechnology field or matriculate into leading cancer biology research graduate programs.


UW-Madison’s Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) is designed to provide an immersive research experience to undergraduate students interested in graduate study in the biomedical sciences. Interns complete 10 weeks full-time laboratory research, attend research seminars on current topics, and give scientific presentations to their peers and mentors.   Interns also receive training in responsible conduct of research, laboratory safety, and presentation skills. Additionally, interns are invited to attend career counseling sessions in which faculty and program administrators discuss graduate school and career opportunities for biomedical scientists.

This is an unique opportunity for undergraduates to work closely with faculty mentors and graduate students in their major discipline.

We invite undergraduates from other institutions to explore our research opportunities, our campus, and the City of Madison before applying for graduate study.


Our faculty is dedicated to upholding UW-Madison’s commitment to enhancing diversity in the biomedical sciences:

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW–Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background — people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.