The Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) Training Program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas fosters the development of Ph.D. scientists with the skills and resources necessary to succeed as independent researchers in a rapidly changing scientific environment. In response to this changing environment, the CMB Training Program at UT Southwestern is largely driven by the trainees. The program focuses on Cellular and Molecular Biology as it applies to medical advances, reflecting the research interests of the students and the laboratories in which they train. It provides formal training in statistical analysis of biological data and emphasizes the importance of collaborative research in acquiring the breadth of knowledge and skills needed for the rapid pace of developments. The program offers unique small group settings for the trainees to acquire new knowledge, form scientific hypotheses, and critically analyze data. Students compete for positions in this training program by writing a research summary and personal statement about why they would like to participate. The application process is open to students in their second or later year of a Ph.D. program or in their first or second graduate school year of the MSTP program. The new trainees are chosen by the CMB Steering Committee based on personal statement, motivation, and diversity of research topic. Most students remain in the training program for 3 years, usually including one year of advanced didactic training and up to 2 years of independent research. Currently, there are 14 granted slots, with 13 funded due to budget constraints of the NIH. The interdisciplinary, student-focused CMB program is structured to stimulate the trainees'critical thinking and to present novel opportunities to question and evaluate cellular and molecular research important for human health. This interdisciplinary training program provides didactic and laboratory training of students in a range of fields that encompass many aspects of cell and molecular biology, culminating in the Ph.D. degree. Multiple training experiences include a round table journal club covering diverse scientific questions and methodologies and designed to stimulate critical analysis, breadth of thinking, and dialog;a faculty seminar series that combines a discussion of career path and cutting edge research;a poster with all CMB faculty;and a retreat in which students'present their ongoing research and plan the following year's activities. Scientists equipped with skills provided by this training program will perform inspired research that crosses disciplines to make discoveries that benefit human health in the future.

Public Health Relevance

This training program develops critical thinking, scientific breadth, and exploration of novel technologies to investigate important questions in cellular and molecular biology related to human health. Scientists equipped with these tools, habits of mind and resourcefulness will make valuable discoveries that enhance quality of life in the future. Students are chosen to maintain a diversity of research interest and have major input into aspects of their own training.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Gindhart, Joseph G
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University of Texas Sw Medical Center Dallas
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United States
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