This application seeks funding for a new Chemistry-Biology Interface predoctoral training program at Stanford University, aligned with the mission of the new Stanford ChEM-H institute. Stanford ChEM-H was formed with the mission of bringing chemists, biologists, engineers and clinicians together to pursue a molecular level understanding of the principles underlying human health and to devise innovative disease interventions. A major component of this initiative is cross-disciplinary student training, the flagship being this new predoctoral training program at the chemistry/biology interface. The program will provide PhD students with a diverse community of peers and mentors from the Schools of Humanities and Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Graduate students in the program will be recruited from six home departments and PhD granting programs: Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Chemical & Systems Biology, Biochemistry, Biology and Bioengineering. Mentors are affiliated with diverse departments and programs, including physician scientists who are practicing clinicians. Key components of the program include first-year laboratory rotations, core coursework in chemical biology, student and faculty seminars, career development activities and an annual retreat. Students will also be educated in the unmet needs of key therapeutic areas through bootcamps led by clinicians at the Stanford Medical School. As well, students will receive training in communication across scientific disciplines and with the community at large, in part through a newly created student/screenwriters' exchange event in partnership with the National Academies of Science. Students trained in this program will be exposed to a wide range of scientific concepts and techniques, meet diverse experts across the physical, life and medical sciences, and be uniquely situated to tackle challenges in human health from a molecular level perspective.
This program trains students both to understand life at a chemical level and to grasp the foundations of biological principles, both key for understanding and addressing challenges in human health. This combination of perspectives will foster creative thinking across disciplinary lines, leading to the discovery and engineering of molecules, materials and measurement tools that advance human health. Students trained in this program will be primed to revolutionize the way medicines and medical treatments are conceived, created, and implemented.