Clinical Translational Oncology Research

Lung cancer cells

About the Program

Turn cancer research discoveries into patient care when you earn a Certificate in Clinical Translational Oncology Research, sponsored by the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center—a consortium of University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University.

Our two-year certificate program is designed to provide physicians (MD, DO or MD/PhD) with advanced interdisciplinary training in clinical and methodological components of cancer research—helping you gain the skills, experience and confidence you need to pursue an academic research career as a physician-scientist.

What to Expect

You'll select one of three areas of concentration:

  • Mechanism-Based Therapeutics and Clinical Research
  • Stem Cell Biology and Hematopoietic Malignancy Clinical Research
  • Prevention, Aging and Cancer Genetics and Clinical Research 

Throughout our program, you'll complete 15 to 19 credit hours of training and education, including a course on responsibly conducting research, a translational cancer research class and an elective. Plus, you’ll be co-mentored by both a basic or behavioral scientist and a clinical investigator, and get support from a mentoring committee composed of faculty in your area of oncology research.

During your mentored laboratory experience, you'll develop original experiments related to disease mechanisms at a molecular or cellular level. Then, you’ll take what you learn in the lab to create and implement clinical trials to develop methods for diagnosis and test promising ideas for new therapeutic interventions.

You’ll also be prepared to present at national conferences, publish your work in peer-reviewed journals and apply for independent funding as a physician-scientist.

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Beyond the Classroom

Case Comprehensive Cancer Center—a powerhouse consortium of Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic—represents all cancer research and most of the cancer care in Northeast Ohio. It is one of only 51 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute.

As a Certificate in Clinical Translational Oncology Research student, you'll have a connection to the center's 400 cancer investigator members and over 6,000 healthcare professionals who help support the patients facing 15,000 new cancer cases each year (about 70% of the cases that occur among Northeast Ohio’s 4 million residents). 

Plus, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art cancer investigation tools through the center’s shared resources, including focuses on cancer metabolism, transgenic and targeting and radiation.

By the Numbers


years to complete


areas of concentration


medical university in Ohio, U.S. News & World Report


medical school for research in the nation, U.S. News & World Report

Admissions Requirements

In addition to meeting eligibility requirements—a physician holding a MD, DO or MD/PhD degree—you must submit the following in your online application:

  • A recent curriculum vitae, including previous research experience (didactic and practical);
  • A personal statement describing the reason for seeking research training in clinical investigation, specific research interests, and career plans (three pages maximum);
  • A hypothesis-driven research plan with specific aims (three to five pages);
  • At least three letters of recommendation, including one either from the residency training director or doctoral committee chairperson/advisor; and
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship (passport) or permanent residency (green card).

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