The Creative Training in Molecular Biology program is now entering its 35th year at the University of Colorado. The program has a strong tradition of interdisciplinary science focused in two major participating units, the Dept. of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and the Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The training faculty of 43 draws on a pool of over 120 Ph.D. students that matriculate in the two degree-granting programs to fill the 14 available slots. The Colorado campus is compact and there is an intimate and communicative atmosphere between the Departments that provides a broad training experience to students. Unlike some popular """"""""umbrella"""""""" programs that are funded by NIH, the CTMB program is tightly linked to the MCDB training structure so that students both in the program and those in the departments can have maximal benefit. One recent and exciting new addition to the training environment is the Colorado Initiative on Biotechnology Research that is administered primarily by faculty in the CTMB program (Dr. Leslie Leinwand is the director). This initiative is in the middle of a capital construction program that will result in the building of a new 260,000 sq. ft. research building to house its 12 new tenured faculty hires, the Biochemistry program in its entirety, and several other biotech-related faculty from MCDB, Engineering and other hard science departments. Currently, 5 new program faculty members are housed in MCDB and Biochemistry space until the new building is completed in approximately 2 years. CTMB eligible trainees are admitted from a strong national pool of over 200, most with excellent undergraduate preparation and at least a year of intensive independent research experience. The training program is relatively traditional with a strong emphasis on research that they begin in their first year with rotations, moving into a lab at the end of year 1. Students apply for a slot on the training grant at the end of year 1 and the top students are selected generally for 2 years of support. Nearly all students complete the program in 5 to 6 years and go on to postdoctoral training and careers in academia, biomedical research institutions, or the biotechnology industry.
The program trains the best and brightest students for careers in biomedical research. Both laboratory and classroom training teaches graduates to participate in basic research, its translation into medical practice, and to train future physicians and scientists.
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