This proposal represents a renewal proposal for the Biomolecular Science and Engineering Training Program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Wadsworth Center. The objectives of the Training Program are aimed at increased interaction among students from the four departmental disciplines of Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Chemistry and Chemical Biology with didactic, research, and industrial components. The outcome of this training will provide the trainee with a keen understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of research, how it depends on fundamental underpinnings in both science and engineering, how it leads to innovative new scientific disciplines and technologies, and how commercial products are developed. Faculty (a total of 23) from the aforementioned programs, as well as trainers from Wadsworth, are actively involved in research programs spanning synthetic biology (represented by biocatalysis, pathway integration and construction, glycomics, bioseparations, and biomaterials design, synthesis, and properties);biomolecular systems (e.g., structure, function, and analysis);and molecular biology and bioinformatics. Key aspects of the training program include:  a set of~ three courses that maximize didactic training among the key disciplines; a core course entitled "Perspectives in Biomolecular Science and Engineering" that is taken by all trainees; seminar series that build on current campus-wide seminar programs at RPI and Wadsworth; a student-run seminar program, where trainees and other Rensselaer graduate students in the area of biomolecular science and engineering present their research to their peers and training faculty; training in responsible conduct of research; joint supervision and multidisciplinary thesis committee membership for Ph.D. thesis work in biomolecular science and engineering; an industrial internship;and  an annual. A Coordinating Committee ensures that the trainees satisfy these requirements and an Underrepresented Minority Recruitment Committee will be actively engaged in identifying and recruiting underrepresented minorities into the program. In addition to the six trainee slots per year proposed herein, Rensselaer will support three Institute trainees per year.
The program's mission and relevance is to provide an integrated and multidisciplinary platform to train a diverse cadre of predoctoral students broadly at the interface of biology and engineering, focusing on the quantitative linkages that define this interface and preparing the trainee for a career in biotechnology.
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