This proposal seeks to renew support for a training program at the Chemistry-Biology Interface (CBI) at Johns Hopkins University that was established in 2005 and received NIH support in 2008. The goal is to train predoctoral students to carry out biomedical research using the tools of Chemistry and Biology. The Program is a collaborative effort between faculty in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Bloomberg School of Public Health), Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences (School of Medicine), Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry (School of Medicine), and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (Whiting School of Engineering), with their colleagues in the Biology, Biophysics, and Chemistry Departments (Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts &Sciences). Student participants have a diverse array of research projects including synthesis, mechanism, enzymology, molecular imaging, and biomacromolecular structure to choose from in 32 research groups. The students receive coursework training in the biological and chemical sciences, including a two-semester course in Chemical Biology designed especially for the Program, but open to all Johns Hopkins University students. Other aspects of the CBI Program include CBI Forum where students present original research proposals, research updates, first year research rotation results, and defend their theses, as well as an Annual Retreat. The students are immersed in a common curriculum (independent of the Department in which their research advisors hold primary appointments), apply directly to the CBI Program, and receive a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology upon completion. The CBI Program was initiated in fall 2005 using funding from the University, which continues to provide a high level of support. NIH currently provides one year of support for 5 students. Support is requested for 6 graduate students. An extensive network of support in the form of advising and mentoring is in place to maximize the students'success. This has resulted in >92% retention of students since the program began in 2005.
The roles of chemistry and biology in basic and applied biomedical research are of paramount importance. There is a rapidly increasing need for scientists who can traverse both fields of science. The CBI Program at Johns Hopkins University is training scientists with this ability.
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