This application seeks support for continuing a long-standing and successful predoctoral training program in Cellular and Molecular Biology. The current and proposed program supports 16 students. The program has been repeatedly updated over the past 35 years and includes a curriculum that educates our trainees broadly and deeply in the rapidly evolving areas of cellular and molecular biology. It encourages students to apply quantitative and multidisciplinary approaches to biological problems. The Graduate Field of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, which administers this training grant, includes 51 faculty who represent 11 undergraduate departments and a broad array of disciplines and biological systems. The faculty not only brings unique perspectives to training students, but also provide the multidisciplinary tools that contribute so effectively to solving biological problems. Excellent facilities are available at Cornell, providing modern research laboratories and state-of-the-art core services. Students admitted to the Program have undergraduate degrees in the biological or physical sciences. A comprehensive set of lecture and laboratory courses and laboratory rotations make up the first year of the Program, followed by research, additional courses, and an obligatory teaching requirement. These first two years of the training program ensure all students have a solid background in molecular and cell biology and in quantitative methods regardless of their diverse undergraduate training. The teaching requirement ensures the students have exposure to basic teaching skills that should serve them well in many of their career options. The curriculum also includes a novel component designed to expose our students to the broad landscape of career options. In addition to their major subject, trainees select a minor graduate subject to broaden their training. The remaining time is devoted mainly to research and continued training by attending and presenting seminars and interaction with faculty and postdoctoral fellows. Monitoring of students'progress continues through their complete tenure. The entire Field meets to assess the first year lab rotations and course performance, and a student's special committee meets yearly following the student's research seminar to assess progress.
The well-established but continuously evolving discipline of Cellular and Molecular Biology will continue to be the scientific foundation for advances in medicine for decades to come. Our graduate training program has been training students in both traditional and interdisciplinary approaches to solving fundamental biological problems for 35 years. The support provided by NIH for this training program is critical to Outcomes are very good with high proportion of students in faculty positions continue training students in this fundamental discipline that is at the core of medical breakthroughs.
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