This application requests continued support for the doctoral training program in Dynamic Aspects of Chemical Biology in the Departments of Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Molecular Biosciences, and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Kansas. This training program aims to educate doctoral graduates in the chemical sciences who will have a working level of biological information and skills, and doctoral graduates in the biological sciences who will have a command of chemical information and skills. The program at the University of Kansas takes advantage of a local tradition of over 50 years of close and effective collaboration among scientists at the interface of chemistry, biology, and the pharmaceutical sciences. Mentors will be drawn from the participating departments: 17 faculty from Chemistry, 12 from Molecular Biosciences, 8 from Medicinal Chemistry, and 6 from Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Support is requested for eight trainees, an increase of two from the previous submission. Trainees complete a program that features focused doctoral education and research in an area of established strength;a curriculum of courses that broadens the information and skills of trainees into areas beyond departmental boundaries;research rotations that giye trainees personal research experience in all areas of the program;and participation in both organization of and presentation at special seminars and an annual symposium. The doctoral research projects of trainees fall into a common theme of probing biological systems at the chemical level: (1) synthesis of biological probes;(2) delivery of probes across biological membranes;(3) structure and function of biological macromolecules;(4) detection and quantitation of probes in biological systems;and (5) functional genomics and bioinformatics. The training grant curriculum begins with core courses in bioinformatics and/or molecular modeling, principles of organic reactions and scientific integrity. Then each chemistry trainee is required to take a course in molecular biosciences and medicinal/pharmaceutical chemistry. A molecular biosciences student is required to take a course in chemistry and medicinal/pharmaceutical chemistry. Finally a student in medicinal/pharmaceutical chemistry student is required to take at least one elective course in molecular biosciences and chemistry. In addition, trainees meet all doctoral requirements of their home departments. Trainees manage and participate in the Annual Training Grant Symposium as well as in inviting speakers for a Chemical Biology seminar.
At the heart of this proposal is the establishment of an integrated training program in the dynamic aspects of chemical biology. Integrated approaches that foster collaboration across scientific disciplines are paramount to gaining a broader understanding at the chemical biology interface with the ultimate goal of improving human health.
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