The Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB) Graduate Program has trained over 550 scientists since 1979. Serving as the major training program for seven basic science departments at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, BCMB is one of the oldest multidisciplinary graduate programs in the country. There are 100 faculty members actively involved in research, teaching and as mentors. The Departments that participate in the program include Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, and Physiology. The objective of the BCMB program is to provide trainees with a breadth of understanding in basic biomedical science to ultimately prepare them for independent and productive careers. An average of 23 students per year matriculate in the program. During the first three-quarters of the first year, students take a unified, rigorous curriculum (Foundations of Modern Biology) that includes modules in biophysics, macromolecular structure and analysis, molecular biology and genomics, genetics, bioinformatics, organic mechanisms in biology, cell structure and dynamics, and pathways and regulation, as well as a paper discussion module that parallels the core course. In the last quarter, students choose three short electives in areas of interest;most of these are small discussion-based courses. A Research Ethics and Career Issues course is also taken in the fourth quarter. A final component of the first year is three laboratory rotations, with poster and oral presentations at the completion of the first two rotations. Second year students take a single course (Method and Logic), and then the qualifying oral exam. Students choose a laboratory for thesis work at the end of their first year, and participate in that department's seminars and journal clubs, as well as complete four additional electives over the course of their training. Most students publish multiple research papers, and the training concludes with presentation of a public seminar and submission of the doctoral thesis. BCMB graduates hold leadership positions at all levels of academia, government and industry. The success of our students is fostered by an extraordinary level of collaboration and interaction among the faculty and trainees in the various laboratories. Special emphasis is placed on applying conceptual breakthroughs in basic science to problems relevant to human health and disease. As such, our trainees have made important advances in areas ranging from cancer to infectious disease, diabetes, neurodegeneration, mental retardation, pain management, cardiovascular disease and many others.
Project Narrative The purpose of the Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program is to train outstanding scientists for careers in biomedical research. This goal is achieved through a rigorous, broad-based curriculum and independent research in a basic science laboratory. This type of training is essential for understanding human disease at a fundamental level, and our students have contributed to breakthroughs in cancer, infectious diseases, diabetes, neurodegeneration and many others.
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