Continuation of support is requested for three NIGMS graduate traineeships in the Doctoral Program in Molecular Biophysics at Wesleyan University. Our program is an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental program in the Graduate Division of the University. Students pursue doctoral studies via graduate courses, dissertation research, a weekly journal club, an annual retreat, workshops, group meetings, seminars, and teaching apprenticeships. Scientific ethics and the historical and intellectual foundations of life science research figure significantly in the curriculum. Course offerings are enhanced by a robust "Frontiers of Science" program, which brings visitors to campus for seminars, lecture series and contribution to individual courses. To provide breadth of training, we encourage collaborative projects among faculty research groups and interactions between experimentalists and theoreticians. Since minority students and women are underrepresented in our field and in science overall, our program emphasizes recruitment of underrepresented groups and we have a particular programmatic niche and record of achievement in training women scientists. Our current and proposed program involves five faculty members from the Department of Chemistry, three from Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (MB&B), one from Biology and one from Physics. All faculty members except our two new Assistant Professors have extramurally funded grants from NIH, NSF and other funding sources for their research programs. Wesleyan University is a small, highly selective university emphasizing the liberal arts and sciences at the undergraduate level with BA, BA/MA and PhD programs in the sciences. A complementary undergraduate certificate program in Molecular Biophysics has been established. This and our BA/MA program have a strong record of feeding students to graduate programs in Molecular Biophysics and related areas at other universities. Our campus setting, physical plant, laboratory and computing facilities (a Dell 266 node PC Cluster) provide an excellent venue for research. In response to previous critiques, we have made substantial progress in improving completion time to the PhD and in minority recruiting and participation. Currently, two under-represented minority students pursuing PhD studies in our program are funded from our active training grant. Our program has been measurably strengthened with the addition of x-ray crystallography, related new initiatives in the structural biology of membrane proteins and signal transduction and nanoscience research involving biological materials, all of which are represented in new course offerings and research opportunities for PhD students. This is the only federally funded training program at Wesleyan. This request comes with a substantial institutional commitment, in particular graduate stipends as TAs for all non-NIH participating PhD students.
Continuation for years 25 - 29 of T-32 support is requested for three NIGMS graduate traineeships in the Doctoral Program in Molecular Biophysics at Wesleyan University, an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental PhD program. Students pursue doctoral studies via graduate courses, dissertation research, a weekly journal club, an annual retreat, workshops, group meetings, seminars, and teaching apprenticeships. Scientific ethics and the historical and intellectual foundations of life science research figure significantly in the curriculum and course offerings are enhanced by a robust program of seminars by established scientists in the field.
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