This training program provides a new type of experienced interdisciplinary scientist in the field of nanobiology, combining the tools, ideas and materials of nanoscience with biology to enable new approaches to research problems and develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. This new training program builds upon a very successful, interdisciplinary training initiative, supported for a limited duration of five years by the NIH Roadmap Initiative. Trainees from this program are uniquely prepared to explore the interplay between current nanoscience applications in high technology and biotechnology and biomedical applications for clinical and research medicine. Just as early molecular biology heralded a new era in both biological sciences and technology, nanobiology is poised to exploit the adventitious interface between nanoscience and biology. The Nanobiology Interdisciplinary Graduate Training Program (NIGTP) takes advantage of the strong history of multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary training efforts in the Keck Center of the Gulf Coast Consortia. This allows seamless organization of trans-institutional training programs. Bringing together six institutions - Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, University of Houston, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston - the NIGTP faculty bring significant expertise in nanobiology. Fifty faculty are included in this program, with over $63M awarded in research funding related to nanobiology and outstanding graduate research opportunities. Trainees will participate in a highly interdisciplinary curriculum to provide deep knowledge and also the connections between the disciplines. Trainees will also be required to have mentors in two different disciplines, with a mini-sabbatical period in the co-mentor's laboratory as an essential part of the multi-disciplinary training experience. Trainees will also participate in weekly seminars and journal club and will present their research at an annual retreat.
The interface between nanotechnology, biology, and medicine is a new frontier for scientific exploration and for the creation of new and improved diagnostic and therapeutic tools to detect, treat, cure, and prevent human diseases. This grant would support an established interdisciplinary graduate training program in nanotechnology for biology and medicine.
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