Application is made for continued funding of a long-standing programassociated withthe Center in Molecular Toxicology at Vanderbilt University. Funds are requested to support eight predoctoral trainees (Ph.D. candidates) and six postdoctoral trainees (those having a Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M., etc.). This interdisciplinary program emphasizes molecular aspects of toxicology related to environmental health. The faculty is drawn from individuals with appointments in Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Medicine, Pathology, Pediatrics, and Pharmacology, all of whom train postdoctoral fellows. Graduate students in the program obtain degrees through Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Pathology, or Pharmacology. Considerable emphasis is placed upon research rotations, the thesis research itself, and participation in seminars, journal clubs, and joint research meetings. There is also much opportunity for learning operation and application of instrumental systems in research. Graduate students are recruited to the Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry through departmental mechanisms, with assistance from the Center in Molecular Toxicology. In the other three (biomedical) departments, graduate students are initially recruited into either the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program or the Chemical and Physical Biology Program, where they spend the first 9 months in a relatively common core curriculum and do four laboratory rotations. Graduate students are recruited into Toxicology from these first year pools (theinitial year is supported by the institution). Both predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees are selected by the Center's Steering Committee, with guidelines to ensure distribution of trainees and monitoring of progress. The list of preceptors includes twenty-two faculty who are all Center Investigators. Major research areas in the Center include oxidative damage, DMA damage and genetic instability, maintenance of genomic integrity, enzymatic biotransformation and reactions of electrophiles, and neurotoxicology. Molecular toxicology is recognized as a strong program, and the institution has continued its commitment to making Vanderbilt a leading center for training in this area.
This interdisciplinary program has a long-standing and successful history of training individuals in the molecular aspects of environmental toxicology. Many former trainees of the program have gone on to productive careers in academia, industry, and government institutes. Pre- and postdoctoraltrainees receive a strong background in basic science with opportunities to participate in clinical and translational research. The ultimate goal of this program is to train future scientists in areas relevant to improving human health.
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