We describe the continuation of a pre-doctoral training program in Cellular, Biochemical and Molecular Biology (http://dbb.urmc.rochester.edu/T32/index.htm) with a core of interactive investigators in RNA, DNA, and protein biochemistry. The proposed training program capitalizes on (i) initiatives that expand research and education at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), and (ii) enhanced educational choices resulting from the successful reorganization of Graduate Education in Biomedical Sciences (GEBS). Students are accepted into multidisciplinary "Clusters". They experience diverse research areas in their first year through courses, faculty research presentations, and laboratory rotations. They then choose a research advisor and degree program from a wide range of opportunities. We will maintain successful T32 initiatives: 1) provide one year of financial support for 6-8 students performing interdisciplinary research;2) promote direct interactions between students and visiting seminar speakers;3) offer practice in critical thinking in research science;4) provide opportunities for off-site student travel to attend meetings, take courses, and work in outside laboratories;5) counsel female and minority students to achieve career goals;6) foster interactions among investigators and students in the areas of RNA, DNA, and protein biochemistry through course requirements and a yearly retreat;and 7) augment effective student recruiting through training-grant educational benefits. The University is benefiting from the recent appointments of a new President and Medical Center Director. Since funding of this T32, the URMC has not only filled two new research facilities (400,000 sq. ft.) and started new programs in Genetics, Biochemistry, Structural Biology, Virology, Signaling, Immunology, Neurobiology and Stem Cells, increasing the number of PIs from 150 to about 250, but also initiated a Strategic Plan with the construction of 500,000 sq. ft. of new labs. The Strategic Plan includes creation of five Innovative Science Programs that increase the opportunities for graduate training. Within this expanding infrastructure, our T32 continues to promote interactions among labs, flexibility in the choice of research mentors, and improved graduate recruiting.
Research funded by this T32 pertains to cellular, biochemical and molecular biology, with a focus on the structure and function of DNA, RNA and proteins. In view of the recent appreciation that most of genomic DNA is transcribed into RNA and that many genes encode more than one protein, research supported by this T32 will lend important insight into the mechanisms of cellular maintenance, growth and differentiation.
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