This revised renewal application seeks to continue an institutional National Research Service Award in Cellular, Biochemical, and Molecular Sciences to train six predoctoral students for the Ph.D. degree at the Watson School of Biological Sciences (WSBS) at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The Watson School provides broad training in the biological sciences including genetics, cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry and biophysics, structural biology, developmental biology, cancer, neuroscience, protein chemistry, cell cycle regulation, plant genetics, electrophysiology, behavior, imaging, bioinformatics, genomics and quantitative biology. The WSBS has designed an innovative Ph.D. curriculum to train future leaders in the biological sciences that includes the following key features: (i) approximately four years from matriculation to Ph.D., (ii) a broad representation of the biological sciences, (iii) a first year with course work and laboratory rotations in separate phases, (iv) emphasis on the principles of scientific reasoning and logic as well as the importance of ethics and effective communication, (v) continued advanced course instruction throughout the graduate curriculum, (vi) extensive mentoring and support through a "two-tier" mentoring program. The doctoral program is intense and is designed for students with a deep commitment to their graduate education. The shorter than average time to graduation allows students to rapidly contribute to the national and global basic research enterprise that fosters advances in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of debilitating diseases. These goals have been accomplished without sacrificing the quality of the training received. WSBS students have received competitive awards and fellowships, have outstanding publication records, and are transitioning to faculty positions at a rapid pace. In the thirteen years since the WSBS first opened, forty-nine students have received their doctoral degrees in an average time more than two years faster than the national average. Eleven of these graduates have assumed tenure-track positions, demonstrating the WSBS's success in preparing highly qualified and competitive scientific leaders. New courses have been developed in the rapidly emerging field of Quantitative Biology to train scientists who are not just experts in biology, but are literate i mathematics, physics, chemistry and computation. The WSBS continues to evolve to prepare the best and brightest students to lead the ever-changing cutting edge of the biological science research.
The Watson School of Biological Sciences offers an outstanding graduate education in the biological sciences to address questions relevant to cancer, neurological diseases, and genetic disorders. The goal is to prepare highly qualified and competitive scientific leaders who will conduct independent research and train the scientists of tomorrow.
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