The Cell and Molecular Genetics (CMG) Training Program at the University of California, San Diego is currently in its 33rd year. This program is a cornerstone of the Ph.D. training effort in the biological sciences at UCSD, as it supports the best graduate students from the Biological Sciences/Salk and Chemistry/Biochemistry Ph.D. programs. The mission of the CMG Training Program is to provide rigorous training for Ph.D. students interested in the molecular mechanisms of a diverse array of biological phenomena. Specific emphasis is placed upon the creativity, quality, and impact of the research, the ethical conduct of research, the achievement of racial diversity among researchers, the ability of the trainees to communicate their results effectively, and the promotion of cooperation and collaboration among scientists. The CMG Program Director is Dr. Randolph Hampton, Professor and a member of the UCSD Division of Biological Sciences since 1995. Dr. Hampton works with an Advisory Committee for the CMG Training Program that consists of Drs. James Kadonaga, Elizabeth Komives, William McGinnis, Gentry Patrick, Andrew Dillin, and Lorraine Pillus. There are currently 112 training faculty, most of them from the UCSD Division of Biological Sciences, the Salk Institute, and the UCSD Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The CMG Training Program provides support for 37 outstanding Ph.D. students, usually during years 2-4 of their training. These CMG trainees are selected from a current pool of about 220 qualified students that are part of the PhD degree/entry programs in the UCSD Division of Biological Sciences, and UCSD Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The trainees fulfill the general requirements of their respective degree/entry programs, and additionally participate in CMG-specific training activities, which include;a class called Advances in Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms, a biannual CMG Training Program Symposia, a Fall Reception and Poster Session, annual One-on-One Conferences with the Program Director, CMG Sponsored Workshops, an annual CMG Idea and Input Lunch, and CMG-Hosted Biology Division Seminar Speakers. Over the past 10 years, more than 100 CMG trainees have successfully completed their Ph.D. theses. Past and present CMG trainees have contributed an enormous wealth of fascinating and important knowledge to the biological sciences in over 400 research papers. The Biological Sciences have recently grown dramatically at UCSD, and we envision the implementation of an even stronger CMG Training Program over the next five years.

Public Health Relevance

The CMG Program trains a select group of graduate students in the molecular mechanisms of diverse biological phenomena. These phenomena include aging, wound healing, regeneration of nerve cells, resistance to infectious disease, cancer, drought stress in plants, and many others. This training program generates the scientific talent base that is required for informed improvements in human health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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National Institute of General Medical Sciences Initial Review Group (BRT)
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Gindhart, Joseph G
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University of California San Diego
Schools of Arts and Sciences
La Jolla
United States
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Cohen, Lianne B; Troemel, Emily R (2015) Microbial pathogenesis and host defense in the nematode C. elegans. Curr Opin Microbiol 23:94-101
Chuang, Marian; Chisholm, Andrew D (2014) Insights into the functions of the death associated protein kinases from C. elegans and other invertebrates. Apoptosis 19:392-7
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