This proposal requests renewal funding for the Predoctoral Biotechnology Training Program at Northwestern University. This interdisciplinary and interdepartmental Program offers biotechnology training opportunities for a select group of PhD students from five participating units: the Departments of Biological &Chemical Engineering (ChBE), Biomedical Engineering (BME), Material Sciences &Engineering (MSE), Chemistry (Chem), and the Interdepartmental Biological Sciences (IBiS) graduate program. Research opportunities, chosen from among a selection of laboratories in the life sciences, are complemented by a core interdisciplinary curriculum. Three- to 6-month industrial internships expose trainees to the industrial environment of modern biotechnology. All trainees and many preceptors participate in the IBiS, 2-day, off-campus annual retreat, which allows extensive interactions among students and faculty from many disciplines and increases the cohesiveness of the trainee group. The Biotechnology Research in Progress Meetings occur monthly and is the forum where trainees and faculty present and discuss their research results and interact with other trainees. Trainees organize and host a Biotechnology Seminar Series that bring industrial and academic scientists to campus for discussions with trainees. Students also take advantage of several other life sciences-related seminar programs on campus, notably the annual Kellogg Biotechnology Conference and seminars for the Master's in Biotechnology Program. Instruction in the responsible conduct of research is carried out primarily through the course, "Ethics in Biological Research." Trainees are recruited by the Program and the participating units using brochures, www pages, and conference presentations. Intensive efforts are made to recruit student from underrepresented groups, and have been quite successful with 30% of trainees from the past 4 years from underrepresented groups. Trainees have been selected from Chemistry, BME, ChBE, and IBiS, and we propose to add MSE for the renewal due to their efforts in biotechnology research and strength of the faculty and the graduate student pool. The number of preceptors participating in the Program will increase from 31 to 42. An increase from 6 to 8 funded positions is requested to support this expanded preceptor base and available student pool.

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 (ZGM1-BRT-2 (MB))
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Gerratana, Barbara
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Northwestern University at Chicago
Engineering (All Types)
Schools of Engineering
United States
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