Developmental biology is an interdisciplinary science, incorporating cell and molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry and whole-animal model systems at the leading edge of modern biomedical research. This Developmental Biology Training Grant (DBTG) application requests continued support for an interdepartmental Developmental Biology Training Program at the University of Utah. This Program has a strong track record of training exceptional predoctoral and postdoctoral scientists in the field of Developmental Biology. The Program consists of individualized research training under the guidance of 41 faculty members who work in one of six Ph.D. degree-granting departments within the University. The Program Director, Co-Director and Interdepartmental Advisory Committee select Trainees, monitor their progress, and organize Training Program activities. Training is provided in a broad range of areas including gene regulation, cell migration, cell differentiation, growth and morphogenesis, signal transduction, and developmental genetics. The participation of six departments, with leading researchers in multiple model organisms, provides a diverse interdisciplinary training environment in Developmental Biology. Prospective predoctoral trainees are admitted to graduate school through the Program in Molecular Biology or the Program in Neuroscience, which coordinate the core curriculum of the first year, or the MD/PhD Program, and compete for DBTG support in their second year. Postdoctoral trainees are selected from a highly competitive pool, based on excellence in research, a research proposal, and letters of recommendation. Program predoctoral trainees are supported for up to three years, and postdoctoral trainees are supported for up to two years. All trainees are required to take a Scientific Ethics course and an advanced course in developmental biology. Trainees learn scientific critical thinking and communication skills by participating in a Journal Club, participating and presenting a seminar in the Developmental Biology Discussion Group, giving a research-based talk at an Annual Training Program Retreat, and hosting outside seminar speakers. Program trainees learn grant writing through innovative grant/fellowship writing workshops. In addition, an individualized postdoctoral mentoring committee adds significant guidance and benefits to each postdoctoral trainee's career development. This training structure is supplemented with vigorous seminar programs and inter-laboratory research-in-progress group meetings to ensure that our trainees receive a strong training in developmental biology, preparing them to direct their own first-rate independent research programs.
Project Relevance to Human Health: Developmental biology is an interdisciplinary science, incorporating cell and molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry in whole-animal model systems at the leading edge of modern biomedical research. Training predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers in developmental biology provides the next generation of biomedical researchers with a wide range of model systems for important discoveries in human health and disease.
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