Research Education

Research Education2023-11-10T19:56:30-05:00


As our understanding of the many causes of health disparities expands, the need for researchers who are able to conduct transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary research becomes increasingly crucial. The Partnership offers undergraduate and graduate training programs designed to provide opportunities for outstanding students to successfully conduct competitive biomedical research at CCNY and/or MSK, as well as to provide mentorship and guidance for career decisions.

The overall goals of the training program are:

  1. To increase the number of competitively trained, underrepresented minority students who enroll in and complete MD, PhD or MD/PhD programs and
  2. To increase the number of these students who pursue cancer-related research careers.


Hedvig Hricak MD, PhD

Department Chair, Radiology (MSK)
Dr. Hedvig Hricak is Chairman of the Department of Radiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). She is also a member of the Molecular Pharmacology Program at the Sloan Kettering Institute, and Professor at the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. She is an international leader in the field of diagnostic radiology and advanced imaging. Dr Hricak’s research focuses on imaging of genitourinary and gynecological cancers, particularly the development of new imaging techniques and validation of imaging biomarkers derived from cross-sectional techniques. Dr Hricak is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine, and has served on the National Institutes of Health, Board of Scientific Counselors, Scientific Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute and the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. She has also served on the Nuclear Radiation Study Board (NASB) of the National Academy of Sciences Dr Hricak is committed to training the next generation of cancer imaging researchers. She directs a number of international research fellowship programs that, through a competitive recruitment process, bring radiologists from all over the world to MSK for training in oncologic imaging, such as body imaging, breast imaging and interventional radiology. As Co-Leader on the Training and Career Development Core of the U54 CCNY-MSKCC Partnership grant, Dr Hricak works with Dr. Karen Hubbard to continue to develop and expand training opportunities in a robust translational cancer research environment to attract and retain students (particularly minority and low-income students) interested in cancer research – to complete MD, PhD, DO, and MD/PhD programs and to pursue cancer-related research careers. These opportunities are enhanced by educational and training opportunities and increased mentorship and support. Her overall goal is to help provide opportunities for students and trainees and to build the next generation of scientists. One of her proudest accomplishments is the establishment in 2004 of an educational program Radiology: Giving Back to NYC for high school students from the New York City Department of Education public high schools. In 2013 the Council of the City of New York issued a proclamation citing Dr Hricak’s guidance and support for high school students stating that the 18th day of April in 2013 is Radiology/Science Careers Awareness & Exploration Day for High School Juniors. The overall goal of the program is to inspire and educate students and teachers about careers in healthcare with a focus on STEM careers. The Partnership supports summer internships in STEM for the five high school students who won the competition

Karen Hubbard, PhD

Principal Investigators (CCNY)

Dr. Hubbard is a molecular biologist who studies gene expression during cellular aging. Her research focuses on RNA metabolism during aging and the relationship between cell death (apoptosis) and aging. She is also the director of the partnership program with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

PURT scholars at annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS)
PURT scholars at annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in 2017.

Partnership Undergraduate Research Training (PURT)

The CCNY-MSKCC Partnership’s Training Core offers the PURT program for undergraduate students. The primary goals of PURT are to implement joint education and training opportunities between CCNY and MSK in order to attract minority students at all levels in their academic careers to be engaged in cancer research, and to support their career development. We prepare our trainees for laboratory positions and for graduate work. Trainees compete for a summer research placement based on their academic performance and recommendation letters. The PURT also offers a year long series of seminars in which invited speakers from various institutions discuss various aspects of career development and research opportunities for trainees entering doctoral programs. Trainees are required to take a course on ethics in biomedicine and research. Trainees are required to present their work at national and local meetings.

All students regardless of track will be provided a research stipend and opportunity to attend a scientific conference and must fulfill core requirements, which are delineated on application website.

2024: Partnership Undergraduate Research Training (PURT) Application

For more information on application requirements and program requirements, visit, or contact Nadia Noman at


There are several different research tracks:

The primary goals of PURT is to implement joint education and training opportunities between CCNY and MSK to attract undergraduate students at all levels in their careers in cancer research, and to support their career development. We especially encourage minority and economically disadvantage students to apply.

PURT Summer Clinical Oncology Research Experience is an eight-week program offered to undergraduates and post-baccalaureate students at CCNY and supported by the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Office of Faculty Development and the CCNY-MSKCC Partnership.

This program offers one year of research training in Molecular Imaging, Nanotechnology for minority undergraduate juniors and seniors. Students will be trained in the Department of Radiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK).

Undergraduate students will have opportunities to work on behavioral science, health disparities, and community outreach/community-based participatory research projects with mentors from CCNY and/or MSKCC.


The CCNY-MSKCC Partnership Graduate Training Program

The Partnership’s graduate training program is open to doctoral students who are enrolled in the CCNY Clinical Psychology program and show an interest in cancer health disparities. Trainees who express a research interests in community and cancer health disparities will be selected according to their GPAs and letters of recommendation. We will then pair them with appropriate research mentors from CCNY and or MSKCC and will provide funding for 2 years. All graduate trainees will be required to 1) make presentations of their research findings once a year at a national conference, 2) participate in the Graduate Health Disparities Curriculum, 3) participate in the professional development workshops, which include, Taking the Next Step in Your Career, The Art & Science of Effective Communication, Time Management, and Interview. 4) participate in the Cancer Journal Club, 5) regularly attend seminars at CCNY or MSKCC, and 6) participate in grant writing workshops at the CUNY Graduate Center or at MSKCC. We expect that graduate trainees will complete and publish manuscripts from a thesis in cancer health disparities in a timely manner. Further expectations are that the students will go onto postdoctoral positions to pursue

For more information, contact at

PURT scholars at annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS)
PURT scholar, Terrique Pinnock, at annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) 2018.