This grant requests support for a new Ph.D. training program in systems biology. Our goal is to train a new wave of systems biology faculty who have even broader interdisciplinary research expertise than the first generation of systems biologists. Systems biology is a nascent field with potential for major impact on drug discovery, the development of personalized medicine, and for helping us understand the molecular bases of complex diseases. It also promises to provide an approach to a deeper understanding of fundamental biological processes, such as differentiation, homeostasis, and evolution. It requires integration of concepts from many disciplines, including medicine, biology, computer science, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and engineering. The Program Faculty represents an energetic and committed multidisciplinary team, with extensive teaching and training experience, that takes seriously the challenge of forging a new discipline. Our Program attracts a diverse student group with varied skills and interests;our training approach is therefore a flexible one, including new interdisciplinary courses, course requirements that are tailored to the needs of the individual, and support for dissertation projects that involve collaboration across two or more labs. Our program aims to educate trainees in the current state of the art in systems biology, and to encourage them to reach higher, expanding the usefulness of theoretical and quantitative approaches in biology and medicine.
Medicine and biology have much to learn from disciplines such as mathematics, physics and computer science. This graduate program brings together students and faculty from many disciplines with the explicit goal of creating a novel interdisciplinary training experience, and producing scientists with a unique and novel perspective on biomedical research.
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