Moffitt Educates the Next Generation of Cancer Researchers

By Nikki Ross Inda - August 28, 2020

Moffitt Cancer Center is known for its world-class cancer care and cutting-edge research. But there is one area that many may not be as familiar with: Moffitt’s commitment to education. The cancer center offers more than 2,600 training rotations each year, attracting students from all over the globe who hope to learn from Moffitt’s physicians and researchers.

Chen Hao Lo, a native of Taipei, Taiwan, is one of those students. He is enrolled in the Cancer Biology PhD Program, which was established by Moffitt and the University of South Florida in 2001 to give students a hands-on, comprehensive learning experience. Students can choose between one of four focus areas – Cancer Biology, Cancer Chemical Biology, Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy and Integrated Mathematical Oncology.

Hao Lo
Lo takes in the sights of Florence, Italy during a 2019 scientific conference

Lo chose to spend his time with the Integrated Mathematical Oncology team, where he is learning how to build mathematical models that can predict therapeutic interventions and disease outcomes in cancers that have metastasized to the bone, such as multiple myeloma and prostate cancer.

 “The main objective of higher education is to develop an understanding for how things around us work and hopefully pick up a passion and career path along the way,” said Lo. “Biology in general has always been a subject of strong interest and something I was pretty good at in school. I was equally fascinated by evolutionary biology, genetics, environmental science, you name it.”

Hao Low
Lo and his family enjoy vacation in Japan

Lo has had to overcome many obstacles throughout his academic career including cultural barriers and homesickness, but he says he has enjoyed meeting many wonderful people along the way and is grateful for his experiences.   

This semester, the Cancer Biology PhD Program will welcome scholars from various cities in Florida, California, Minnesota and Massachusetts, as well as international students from Egypt, Spain and Denmark. To learn more or apply, you can visit the program’s website.

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