This is a competitive renewal of a training grant (TG) in Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The objective of the CMB TG is to prepare trainees for careers in basic and biomedical research and education with an emphasis on cell, molecular, and developmental biology (CMDB). CMB is unique at UAB in its diverse multidisciplinary research emphasis without a specific disease focus. Thus, the CMB TG captures high caliber graduate students not be eligible for support on other disease specific TGs on campus. CMB has received support from NIH for 27 years and has a completion rate well above the national average indicating the high quality of our student population. The strength of the CMB program, its faculty preceptors, and the overall training environment is evidenced by the number of publications from our trainees and by their subsequent career positions they hold. To adapt to changing demands of biomedical research and education, in 2006 UAB began restructuring its graduate program from departmental-based system into a single umbrella program in Graduate Biomedical Science (GBS). GBS consists of eight thematic disciplines spanning across schools, departments, and divisions. Themes in the GBS have innovative clinically focused and problem-based curricula that provide small group learning experiences in which students select from up to 8 concurrent course electives to match their scientific and research interests. The CMB TG will support GBS students interested in basic and biomedical research who affiliate with one of the 59 CMB training faculty mentors. There are currently 159 students (Table 9a) eligible for only 6 positions on the CMB TG, making appointment highly selective and competitive. The CMB TG provides two years of stipend and tuition support and adds significant value and opportunities above GBS by providing travel and research allowances for scientific meetings along with career development workshops and courses that help prepare trainees for the next stage in their career. In addition, CMB trainees host prominent speakers in the CMB Distinguished Scholar Seminar series and participate in retreats with Departments and Centers at UAB, and in a joint retreat with Vanderbilt/St Jude's Children Hospital in developmental biology. These activities markedly improve overall graduate training at UAB. The scientific and research interests of the CMB faculty mentors are diverse and interdisciplinary. Their research addresses fundamental scientific questions needed for understanding, diagnosing, and treating human disease and birth defects. CMB mentors are productive and respected clinical and basic scientists that provide a broad-based education with extensive research opportunities in well-funded multi-disciplinary laboratories. CMB preceptors maintain a strong commitment to students to deliver the highest level of training and networking opportunities in a collaborative environment that will prepare trainees for productive careers in basic and biomedical research or other science related occupations.

Public Health Relevance

Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) is an interdepartmental training program for PhD graduate students who are interested in careers in basic and biomedical research/education. CMB is structured to provide flexibility in the curriculum and training experiences that can be tailored to the research interests and future career goals of the trainees. The objectives are to provide outstanding research and educational opportunities in well supported laboratories directed by prominent clinical and basic science faculty members that will facilitate the maturation of trainees into creative, independent research scholars in biomedical sciences.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (TWD)
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Gindhart, Joseph G
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University of Alabama Birmingham
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Fraser, Kyle B; Moehle, Mark S; Alcalay, Roy N et al. (2016) Urinary LRRK2 phosphorylation predicts parkinsonian phenotypes in G2019S LRRK2 carriers. Neurology 86:994-9
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