Siric > Training > Cancer Biology International Master program

The International Master program in Cancer Biology is one of the 10 research curricula offered by the Masters in Biology and Health Sciences at the University of Montpellier and the National Graduate School of Chemistry (http://sciences.edu.umontpellier.fr). This program corresponds to year 2 of a Master’s Degree (semesters 3 and 4).

The program consists of theoretical courses (25 ECTS), a research internship (25 ECTS) and personal work of conception of an original research project (10 ECTS).

This training is an ideal preparation for a career in research, be it in a fundamental or applied field, as well as for a teaching career and provides a good introduction to new biotechnological approaches.

Foreign students having obtained their Master 1 degree or equivalent outside France can apply for a SIRIC grant (5 000 Euros) for their study expenses.

 

Application

To submit an application for the Cancer Biology Program Year 2 (M2), French or European candidates are invited to log onto the e-candidat application of the University of Montpellier  (http://sciences.edu.umontpellier.fr/candidatures-inscriptions/candidatures-2017-2018/)

 

Students from outside Europe must apply through Campus France (http://www.campusfrance.org). In addition they are requested to send their application as soon as possible to (Siric.Montpellier@icm.unicancer.fr ) in order for their application to be examined in respect to the equivalence of foreign diploma requirements of Montpellier University.

 

No paper documents are required when submitting the application. Obligatory prerequisites to join the program include Semesters 1 and 2 accredited with Master M1 in Biology or equivalent (M2 application).

For more information or questions contact Dr Ula Hibner (ula.hibner@igmm.cnrs.fr), Dr William Jacot (william.jacot@icm.unicancer.fr) or Dr Marie-Alix Poul-Pearson (marie-alix.poul-pearson@univ-montp2.fr )

 

 

Objectives

The pedagogical objective is to offer training for and by research in Cancer Biology, a field in which Montpellier teams are particularly competent and recognised, for students with either a scientific or medical or engineering background.

 

Students have different options for the theoretical course units (CU). They choose 2 core curriculum CU (out of 5 proposed) and 2 or 3 specific Cancer Biology-oriented options. Cancer Biology and Cancer Therapy CU are compulsory, Cell Fate CU is recommended, but can be replaced by another CU from the Biology and Health Masters (http://sciences.edu.umontpellier.fr).

They also choose a full-time 5 to 6-month internship in one of the host teams affiliated with the Montpellier Comprehensive Cancer Centre (SIRIC Montpellier Cancer Labs). Alternatively, they can opt for an internship outside of Montpellier. Additionally, students will engage in a personal theoretical project consisting of preparing a proposal for an original research project that will be presented during semester 4, separately from the presentation of their internship practical research work.

 

The Master’s degree is recognized as a qualification for immediate integration into professional life. However, many, but not all, graduates aim to follow this program with a PhD.

 

Program content and organisation details

Semester 3 : 30 ECTS

- Choice of 2 course units (CU) from the general program offered to all students of the Masters Biology and Health Sciences (5 ECTS each).

Recommended (given in English):

  • Genetics and epigenetics (M Koenig, A. Lengronne)
  • Cell signaling (A Debant, K. Becamel)

Possible (given in French with slides in English):

  • Bioinformatique et biologie des systèmes (O Radulescu, S Trapani et A Chavanieu)
  • Physiologie intégrée (S Matecki, F Perrin)
  • Biophysique moléculaire et cellulaire (A Echallier-Glazer, A. Parmeggiani)

 

3 specific CU from the Cancer Biology Program (5 ECTS each)

  •  Principles of Cancer Biology (P. Pasero, U.Hibner)
Aims of the course: Cancer is a disease that exploits basic principles governing the functions of cells and organisms. Understanding cancer biology requires a highly multidisciplinary approach and is a prerequisite for the conception and future implementation of novel therapies.The course “Principles of cancer biology” is an integral part of the “CDC-Cancer Biology Program” within the Master BioMed of Montpellier University. It discusses the major concepts of current understanding of tumor initiation, progression and escape from treatment. It is complementary to both the “Cell fate and plasticity” and to “Cancer therapy” modules.
Courses are given by acknowledged experts in different fields, students are encouraged to interact with speakers, many of whom welcome Cancer Biology students in their laboratories for internships.
  • Cancer therapy (W Jacot, M-A Poul)
Aims
 of
 the
 course: Increased 
understanding 
of 
cancer 
biology
 has 
allowed
 the
 first 
successful 
cancer
 targeted
 therapies 
based 
on 
the 
knowledge 
of 
specific 
molecular 
targets.
The
 identification 
of 
specific 
cancer 
subgroups,
 associated 
with 
known 
targets
 or
 drug
 susceptibility
 profiles 
allows 
a 
more 
efficient
 selection 
of 
anticancer
 treatment.
 At
 the
 same 
time,
 a 
better 
understanding 
of 
the 
pharmacokinetic,
pharmacodynamic
 and
pharmacogenomic aspects 
of
 cancer 
cells’ 
drug
 resistance 
and
 excessive 
drug 
toxicities 
should
 lead
 to an improved
 efficacy
/
toxicity 
ratio
 in 
cancer 
treatment.
The
 course 
”Principles 
of 
cancer 
biology”
 is 
an 
integral
 part 
of 
the
 “CDC -Cancer 
Biology 
Program” 
with in
 the 
Master 
BioMed 
of
 Montpellier 
University.

 The 
goal 
of 
this 
course 
is 
to 
provide 
a 
broad 
understanding 
of 
the
various
 aspects
 of
 cancer
 cells
 sensitivity
/
resistance 
to
 cancer
 treatments,
 from
 the 
molecular 
targets 
of
 anti‐cancer 
agents, 
targeting 
the
 cancer 
cells
 themselves 
or 
cancer
 microenvironment,to 
the 
individual 
modulation
of
 cancer 
drugs 
response 
and 
toxicities. 
The 
course 
will 
review
 chemotherapy, 
targeted 
therapies, 
immunotherapy 
and
 radiotherapy
 approaches 
in 
cancer.
It 
represents 
an 
ideal
 complement 
to
 the
 more fundamental  
courses 
on 
“Cell
 Fate 
and 
Plasticity” 
and 
“Cancer 
Biology”. 
Together, the 
Master
2 
Program
 in
 Cancer 
Biology 
will 
provide 
students 
with
 a 
unique 
opportunity 
to 
explore 
the
 scientific 
rationale 
for 
anticancer therapies 
in 
a
 very
 competitive
 scientific 
and 
medical 
environment. 
The students will 
acquire 
the 
necessary knowledge
 to 
enable
 them
 to
 carry 
out 
original
 research 
in 
the 
ever 
growing
 field
 of 
cancer 
biology.
In
 addition,
 during
 the
 Pre‐clinical 
models 
practical 
sessions,
experienced 
experts 
of 
the 
field
 will 
illustrate 
how human
 cancer 
can
 be
 modeled
 in
 the 
mouse, 
showing 
the 
latest 
technological 
developments 
based
 on 
genetically engineered 
mouse 
models 
as
 well 
as 
humanized
 primary 
xenograft 
models.
Teaching 
will 
include
 theoretical description 
of the 
models
 and 
associated
 technologies,
 followed
 by
 practical
 training
 sessions
 that 
will 
illustrate the use 
of non-invasive
 small 
animal 
imaging 
techniques 
as 
well 
as 
histological 
analyse.
  • Cell fate and plasticity (P. Mangeat,  P. Fort)
Aims of the course:Multicellularity represents a major evolutionary transition during which new gene functions have been selected to allow for the development, maintenance and reproduction of a complex adult organism from a single fertilized cell.Cell–cell and cell-substrate adhesive structuresplay key roles in these processes, both as dynamic mechanical linkages that enable formation and homeostasis of tissues and organs and as signaling hubs that coordinate cell proliferation, motility, differentiation or apoptosis.
In this context, cancer can be viewed as an accumulation of genetic, epigenetic and metabolic incidents, whose combined effects directly or indirectly affect the normal repertoire and functioning of adhesive structures, leading to local invasion and eventually to long-distance metastasis.
The course “Cell fate and plasticity” is part of the “CDC-Cancer Biology Program” within the Master BioMed of Montpellier University.
The objectives are:
i. Provide the basic knowledge on the major signaling pathways and their pleiotropic impacts on cell adhesion and other properties,
ii. Introduce cell adhesion in terms of mechanisms and dynamics in development and cancer,
iii. Present how cells use RNA synthesis and splicing programs to rapidly adapt to new environmental conditions,
iv. Describe protein structures and molecular scaffolds by which cell signaling coordinates proliferation and morphology.
This should give students a general knowledge of the signaling pathways that pertain to multicellularity, and the conceptual tools for a better understanding of the notions proposed by the other two modules, “Cancer Biology” and “Cancer therapy”.

 

– 1 CU of supervised research work (Master’s Research Thesis) (5 ECTS). The list for Master’s Research Thesis CU will only be available when choosing internships (students are encouraged to join research teams affiliated to the Montpellier Comprehensive Cancer Center, SIRIC. Evaluation is based on the internship project written and presented by the student.

 

Semester 4 : 30 ECTS

Laboratory research internship (17 ECTS)

 

Methodology CU or Workshop/conference participation after validation by the committee (3 ECTS)

 

Conception of a fully original research project on a subject/question chosen by the student (Instructions) (10 ECTS).

 

 

Practical Information on Assessments

 

Written examinations :

Two hour written exams for each CU of semester 3 which will be anonymously graded (with possibility to answer in English or in French). The subjects will call for various forms of scientific reasoning regarding questions related to course content.

 

Reports and oral presentations:

Both can be in English or in French.

Master’s Research Thesis : The report must be sent to the committee for the first week of January (Instructions), the oral presentation is scheduled for the end of January.

 

The original project report (Instructions) is submitted by the end of March, the oral presentation is scheduled for mid April.

 

The internship report (Instructions) is submitted by the end of May, the oral presentation is scheduled mid June.

 

For each presentation students will prepare slides and will have 10 minutes to present their work followed by 10 minutes of questions. The jury will be composed of 10 to 15 scientists reflecting all the thematic fields taught.

 

 

 

Further information is available at:  http://sciences.edu.umontpellier.fr