The UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas requests continued support of a predoctoral Molecular Biophysics Training Program (MBTP). This program selects trainees from within the Graduate Program in Molecular Biophysics (GPMB), one of the ten basic science Ph.D. programs at UT Southwestern. The MBTP is composed of 34 faculty mentors drawn chiefly from six basic science departments and three research centers, including the Departments of Biophysics, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Physiology, Cell Biology and Neuroscience. As such, this group assembles a very broad of expertise in experimental and computational research methods, providing an excellent basis to train students in the application of these techniques to quantitatively probe biological phenomena at the molecular, cellular and network scales. Accordingly, our trainees come from to UT Southwestern from a range of physical and biological undergraduate programs, averaging approximately 9 trainees per year. These students receive didactic education that integrates a broad introduction to central problems in modern biomedicine (first-year Core Course) with advanced courses that cover the mathematical, theoretical and practical aspects of biophysics. These are complemented by research rotations and small group discussions of the scientific literature and practice. Highlights of our current training plan include regular opportunities for ur students to 1) present their research in seminars and an annual research symposium;2) invite and directly interact with leaders in the field of biophysics via the unique Molecular Biophysics Discussion Group;3) conduct focused research training, facilitated by access to world- class laboratories and shared equipment resources. The highly collaborative environment at UT Southwestern ensures that students are exposed to many different biophysical research areas, but also share and integrate their findings with colleagues in biochemistry, cell biology and other fields. Now in its 25th year, this training program continues to innovate by adding new faculty, courses and activities with complementary interests and expertise;implementing new methods to recruit an increasingly diverse pool of students;developing curricula and training mechanisms that provide our trainees with a modern and solid foundation for future excellence in academic and industrial biomedical research, all within a training period of reasonable length. Support is requested for five predoctoral students for up to three years during the Ph.D. dissertation research portions of their training.
This application proposes support for five predoctoral students who will be studying advanced methods in biophysics as part of their Ph.D. training. The field of biophysics provides sophisticated tools to study the mechanisms of many aspects of biology, describing processes as diverse as protein/drug interactions to how cells respond to stress around them. Knowledge of such processes guide both our basic understanding of biology, while enabling new medical applications in a wide range of diseases.
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