This exciting pre-doctoral training program at the Chemistry-Biology Interface involves 31 training faculty from three departments at the University of Minnesota: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, and Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics (BMBB). The mission of the CBITG at the University of Minnesota is to provide a diverse cadre of students with the skills necessary to cross traditional boundaries and understand and conduct scientific research at the interface of chemistry and biology. This mission will be accomplished by achieving the following objectives: (i) Provide students with an interdisciplinary training experience at the interface of chemistry and biology through a combination of coursework involving classes from at least two departments and by a cross-training experience involving a coadvisor and a research experience of three months in the coadvisor's laboratory. (ii) Expose students to cutting-edge science at the interface of chemistry and biology through seminars focused on this type of interfacial science (Chemical Biology Colloquium) and by allowing them to organize their own symposium focused on the chemical biology interface. (iii) Enhance the communication skills of trainees by providing them with multiple opportunities to present their research including a presentation at a national or international conference. (iv) Educate students about the range of career opportunities available for scientists with training in this area. (v) Stimulate interest in our training program through te use of interviews with trainees, trainers and prominent scientists working at the chemistry/biology interface. (vi) Increase the diversity of scientists carrying out research at the chemistry and biology interface in our program through a combination of different outreach activities. Trainees will be involved in research themes that include: Biocatalysis and Biomolecular Design (Distefano, Kazlauskas, Lipscomb, Ohlendorf, Schmidt-Dannert, Seelig Wackett, Wagner, Wilmot), Therapeutic Agents (Aldrich, Amin, Bernlohr, Distefano, Georg, Harki, Haskell-Luevano, Hoye, Mansky, Tretyakova, Wagner, Xing), Chemistry of Disease (Aldrich, Arriaga, Bernlohr, Distefano, Harki, Haskell-Luevano, Mansky, Murphy, Pomerantz, Tretyakova, Wagner, Xing), Metallobiochemistry (Amin, Lipscomb, Murphy, Ohlendorf, Pierre, Que, Wackett, Wilmot), and Bioanalytical/Biophysical (Arriaga, Bowser, Griffin, Haynes, Pierre, Pomerantz, Tretyakova, Thomas, Veglia). The research groups of the training faculty are all well supported and well equipped. This highly successful training program has been ongoing for 14 years. In this period, support is requested for 8 trainees each year of the program, each to be supported for a two-year period.
The trainers and their trainees collectively carry out research on fundamental questions related to current important problems in public health. These include understanding how cancers are initiated in the cell, how obesity and diabetes develop and how a muscle works, designing and developing new drugs and probes for cancer, HIV and Alzheimer's disease, and understanding how chemicals are transformed and broken down in the environment.
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