The Training Program in Integrative Membrane Biology (TPIMB) is designed to train predoctoral students in the biology, biophysics, and physiology of biological membranes. Now in its 3rd decade, the TPIMB continues to lead the effort in interdisciplinary training at the interface of cell and systems biology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (DM SoM), by focusing on the role of the cell membrane and intracellular membranes in mediating and integrating the functions of cells and their interactions with the environment. The program is guided by the idea that studies of membrane biophysics and physiology, and of membrane-based signaling cascades, can provide unique insights into the biology of cells and tissues, in both healthy and diseased states. The faculty of the TPIMB, now numbering 40 individuals, are well funded, highly interactive, and devoted to mentoring students studying a broad range of subjects related to Membrane Biology. Trainers are selected for their interests, extramural support, and commitment to mentoring. Trainees are also selected based on their interests, as well as undergraduate records, standardized test scores, recommendations, and previous research experience. Students are required to take a series of courses on membrane biochemistry and biophysics, and on links between membrane defects and human diseases, as well as a class in research ethics. They also take introductory and/or advanced courses in cellular and systems Physiology, Pharmacology, or Neuroscience. A new intensive core course in Cell and Molecular Biology, devised as part of the current restructuring of graduate education at UM SoM, is now also required. Trainees participate regularly in student-oriented activities, such as seminars, monthly get-togethers, and an annual retreat. The UM SoM supports this program generously through contributions to faculty salary, additional stipends for students, and funds for the TPIMB's regular activities. Current NIH funding supports 7 trainees but leaves many following our curriculum and taking part in our activities without support. The growth of our graduate training efforts, successes in recent recruitment, and the large jump in federal funding at the UM SoM suggest that an increase in the number of funded positions is justified. With continued and enhanced support, the faculty and students in the TPIMB can continue to spearhead the effort to integrate training in cell and systems biology at the UM SoM

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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National Institute of General Medical Sciences Initial Review Group (BRT)
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Maas, Stefan
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University of Maryland Baltimore
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United States
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