To help train a cadre of interdisciplinary research scientists who can cross disciplinary boundaries between medical, biological, physical and engineering sciences, the proposed research training program will support ten pre-doctoral students during their second and third years of doctoral study in a newly established interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree Specialization in Multi-Scale Biology at UCSD. Students in the specialization belong to one of five established and highly ranked graduate programs (Bioengineering, Biomedical Sciences, Biological Sciences and Neurosciences) from the Divisions of Biological Sciences, Health Sciences, Physical Sciences and the Jacobs School of Engineering. A unique feature of the training curriculum is six specialized hands-on laboratory courses in specialized technologies (including mass spectrometry, light and electron microscopy, magnetic resonance imaging and high-performance computing) for measuring and analyzing biological structures and functions across multiple scales of biological organization from molecular to whole organism. The scientific focus on multi-scale analysis of biological structure and function reflects a fundamental challenge of modern biomedical science and the strengths of the 37 program faculty (with three HHMI Investigators and one member of the MAS) from 18 departments (Eng., Biological Sciences., Physical Sciences and Health Sciences, Schools of Medicine or Pharmacy, with two new faculty from the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences) in developing and applying novel approaches from biochemistry, cell biology, biophotonics, microscopy, tissue engineering, imaging and computational modeling to integrative problems in biomedicine spanning the molecular to whole organism scales. The dual-mentored training program provides outstanding interdisciplinary graduate research opportunities in these areas, especially in relation to human genetics, development and cancer, diseases and disorders of the nervous, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal systems, diagnostics and therapeutics. The graduate training program also provides a highly interdisciplinary training environment and a wealth of activities to promote new interdisciplinary collaborations and interactions.

Public Health Relevance

Most important scientific challenges of modern biomedicine require a detailed understanding of how biological processes at the molecular scale give rise to functions at the levels of the cell, tissue, organ and whole body. This program trains graduate students at the interfaces between engineering, physical sciences, biological sciences and health sciences to apply modern technologies to these challenges.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZEB1-OSR-E (J1))
Program Officer
Baird, Richard A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California San Diego
Engineering (All Types)
Schools of Arts and Sciences
La Jolla
United States
Zip Code
Gonzales, Matthew J; Vincent, Kevin P; Rappel, Wouter-Jan et al. (2014) Structural contributions to fibrillatory rotors in a patient-derived computational model of the atria. Europace 16 Suppl 4:iv3-iv10
Pfeiffer, E R; Wright, A T; Edwards, A G et al. (2014) Caveolae in ventricular myocytes are required for stretch-dependent conduction slowing. J Mol Cell Cardiol 76:265-74
Grover, Gregory N; Rao, Nikhil; Christman, Karen L (2014) Myocardial matrix-polyethylene glycol hybrid hydrogels for tissue engineering. Nanotechnology 25:014011
Meyer, Jesse G; Kim, Sangtae; Maltby, David A et al. (2014) Expanding proteome coverage with orthogonal-specificity ?-lytic proteases. Mol Cell Proteomics 13:823-35
Rao, Nikhil; Grover, Gregory N; Vincent, Ludovic G et al. (2013) A co-culture device with a tunable stiffness to understand combinatorial cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. Integr Biol (Camb) 5:1344-54
Gonzales, Matthew J; Sturgeon, Gregory; Krishnamurthy, Adarsh et al. (2013) A three-dimensional finite element model of human atrial anatomy: new methods for cubic Hermite meshes with extraordinary vertices. Med Image Anal 17:525-37
Rao, Nikhil; Evans, Samantha; Stewart, Danique et al. (2013) Fibroblasts influence muscle progenitor differentiation and alignment in contact independent and dependent manners in organized co-culture devices. Biomed Microdevices 15:161-9
Miller, Evan W; Lin, John Y; Frady, E Paxon et al. (2012) Optically monitoring voltage in neurons by photo-induced electron transfer through molecular wires. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109:2114-9
Griffeth, Valerie E M; Perthen, Joanna E; Buxton, Richard B (2011) Prospects for quantitative fMRI: investigating the effects of caffeine on baseline oxygen metabolism and the response to a visual stimulus in humans. Neuroimage 57:809-16
Griffeth, Valerie E M; Buxton, Richard B (2011) A theoretical framework for estimating cerebral oxygen metabolism changes using the calibrated-BOLD method: modeling the effects of blood volume distribution, hematocrit, oxygen extraction fraction, and tissue signal properties on the BOLD signal. Neuroimage 58:198-212

Showing the most recent 10 out of 17 publications