This proposal requests continued funding for the Cellular and Molecular Basis of Disease (CMBD) Training Program at Northwestern University. The CMBD program supports comprehensive pre-doctoral graduate training in the life sciences, focusing on the cellular, molecular and biochemical mechanisms used in biological systems and targeted in diseases impacting human health. The CMBD program has provided intradepartmental and interdisciplinary training opportunities for Northwestern life science graduate students for the past 30 years, and has been a centerpiece for cross campus interactions at Northwestern. CMBD trainees are selected primarily from two integrated interdepartmental programs: the Interdepartmental Biological Sciences Graduate Program (IBiS) on the Evanston campus and the Driskill Graduate Training Program in the Life Sciences (DGP) on the Chicago Medical School campus. Students are appointed in the spring quarter of their second year, after they have completed their core coursework and joined their dissertation research laboratories, and they are typically supported for two or three years. As a University-wide training program with 18 trainee positions and a broad spectrum of faculty, CMBD has taken a leadership role in fostering communication and collaboration between researchers on the two campuses, and many collaborative interactions have arisen directly from the monthly student- oriented CMBD Research in Progress meetings. CMBD also facilitates student interactions with scientists at other institutions, both by providing the opportunity for CMBD trainees to present their research at national meetings and conferences, and by bringing outstanding research scientists to Northwestern, through the CMBD seminar and symposia programs. CMBD provides for training of students in the ethical conduct of research, and offers trainees the opportunity to participate in several outstanding career development forums at Northwestern University, most prominently the "Bio- Opportunities" program. Graduates of the CMBD program have continued as successful and productive scientists at many other institutions and in diverse careers, contributing in important ways to cell and molecular biology research on a national level.
The CMBD training program brings together a community of trainees and mentors whose expertise spans the range from basic to translational research. By fostering communication among these researchers, participants develop a deeper appreciation of how different areas of study relate to one another and how to apply the principles from different disciplines to better integrate biomedical research.
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