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Cancer Biology, PhD - Career Outcomes

A defining feature of our PhD-granting program curriculum is the focus on translational aspects of cancer biology, which includes the latest in cancer prevention and therapy. This multidisciplinary approach provides a solid grounding in the basic mechanisms of cancer biology and a cellular, molecular, and biochemical understanding of the cancer cell. Intellectual property issues and the cancer drug discovery process are integrated into the overall curricular design.

Students within the program will gain an understanding of how the cancer cell works compared to normal cells and the strategies to employ for new therapeutic regimens. These are the skills in high demand in today’s research workforce. Students will have opportunities to focus their studies toward cellular, molecular, or bioassay development directions, depending on the chosen advisor(s) and research interests.

Whether the research is more basic or applied in nature, students will receive thorough experience in experimental design, the rigorous and ethical conduct of research, and robust analytical approaches. Interactions with the dedicated mentors and internationally recognized researchers at both USciences and Wistar provide students with the perspectives and approaches of two institutions focused on the common goal of cancer understanding and research.

Career Outlook

In the global fight against cancer, the USciences-Wistar Cancer Biology Graduate Program prepares students for some of the fastest-growing positions. With employment of medical scientists expected to increase by 13 percent between 2016 and 2026 (double the mean rate of growth of ALL occupations)*, PhD researchers will be highly desirable for postdoctoral, staff scientist, faculty, and similar positions.

*2018 US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

In academia and industry, medical research is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise and a significant generator of high-quality job opportunities. In 2018, overall research support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget supported more than 300,000 jobs.

For research universities conducting basic and translational research and pharmaceutical companies developing drugs, cancer research is an urgent need and priority.

There are tremendous opportunities for researchers working toward a fundamental understanding of cancer processes, more effective cancer diagnostics, and novel therapies. The USciences-Wistar Cancer Biology Graduate Program prepares students to seize these opportunities - as  researchers engaged in hypothesis-driven research; innovators in therapeutic strategy, treatment, and design; and a variety of other professional positions across the cancer research spectrum.

Graduates of the program will be well-prepared to launch rewarding careers in academic, government, and industrial laboratories.


Kenneth Myers, PhD
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Neuroscience

Office Location:

McNeil Science and Technology Center, Room 348


University of the Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495





Kristy Shuda McGuire, MS, PhD
Dean of Biomedical Studies


The Wistar Institute
3601 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104