This is a proposal to the Graduate Training Program in Biotechnology in support of 12 trainee positions for predoctoral students. To be effective healthcare research must be undertaken at a comprehensive integrated systems level rather than depending on the older reductionist approach. The techniques of the post-genomic era are now making this an attainable goal. This Training Program in Biomolecular Technology has been highly successful in training predoctoral students within such an environment. It provides well-coordinated multidisciplinary training of graduate students in critical areas of health-relate biotechnology research and a structure for interdisciplinary investigation that integrates basic biological science, engineering and quantitative disciplines as well as industrial experiences. Discipline oriented training is provided by relevant graduate groups. This Program has provided direct support for 22 second to fourth-year graduate students and indirect support for 18 additional trainees. The tools and framework for interdisciplinary research are provided to all in the Program who complete the Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB). The over 200 strong DEB provides multidisciplinary biotechnology concentration over and above the discipline-oriented requirements of graduate groups. The Program includes proactive and interactive research training, specialized multidisciplinary courses, a student run research chalk talk, a seminar series with leading extramural researchers in the field of biotechnology, research meetings, an annual retreat and other efforts aimed at developing integrated projects on campus and with affiliates. The heart of this Program is the research training that occurs in the university and the internship experience at industrial trainers'laboratories during the student's second to fourth years. The Retreat serves as a forum for discussion of research, ideas and proposals and provides opportunities to develop internship and collaborative research connections with industry. An Executive Committee assists the director in administering the Program while a subcommittee of Academic Senate members determines course content. Trainers and trainees are evaluated annually by the Committee to ensure the most effective training program. The quality is assessed from publication records, research grant support, record of student training, emphasis on biomolecular technology projects within a quantitative context, and multidisciplinary collaboration with other laboratories. The Program is designed to recruit and support trainees who show exceptional promise and to immerse them in an environment that will prepare them to be independent scientists who will advance the field of US health research.

Public Health Relevance

At the University of California at Davis, we view healthcare as encompassing disease prevention and health optimization not just pathology focused research. To that end we have devised a graduate training program whose focus is at the juncture of in-depth specialist instruction in the healthcare research arena with a cross disciplinary perspective to complement students training in problem identification and solving within their own fields. Our aim is to nurture exceptional students and provide them with a training experience that will prepare them to be world-class scientists who will advance the foundation of US healthcare research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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National Institute of General Medical Sciences Initial Review Group (BRT)
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Gerratana, Barbara
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University of California Davis
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United States
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