The Department of Biochemistry &Molecular Biology (BMB) and the Department of Chemistry (Chem) at The University of Chicago propose continuation and expansion of an interdisciplinary, predoctoral training program directed at the interface of the chemical and biological sciences. The program aims to educate and train the next generation biomedical scholars by promoting cross-disciplinary research with a synthetic and mechanistic focus while maintaining depth in the core discipline. The program has grown, strengthened and matured through recruitment of outstanding faculty and students and introduction of new courses in interdisciplinary science. The training faculty that comprise the teaching component of the program consists of nine faculty with appointments in BMB (two with joint appointments in Chemistry), eight faculty in Chemistry, and two in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research. Three new faculty have been recruited to the program in the current funding cycle, with two new hires poised to join the faculty in the 2010-2011 academic year. Strategies to develop cross- disciplinary training include: (1) satisfactory completion of two courses in the department of the other scientific discipline;(2) cross-disciplinary research, achieved either as an elective research rotation in the laboratory of a participating faculty member in the other discipline program, or as a collaborative research rotation aligned with the trainee's thesis research;and (3) participation in a series of monthly meetings throughout the academic year designated as "Discussions at the Interface of Chemistry &Biology" to gain acquaintance with theoretical concepts and methods. The broad scope of the interdisciplinary research interests of the faculty, strengthened through collaborative research and teaching, ensures a wide variety of opportunities for meaningful cross- training. With its commitment to interdisciplinary research and broad faculty support, the program offers a supportive environment for training at the cutting-edge of research at the interface of chemistry and biology.
A cross-disciplinary, predoctoral program is proposed with the goal of training future biomedical scientists to develop competence in both chemistry and biology and to enable biologists and chemists to work together. Scholars with skills in both disciplines will be poised to make future breakthrough discoveries in human health research.
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