Systems biology is a relatively new discipline used to understand the complex interactions underlying healthy and diseased states of a cell, tissue, or organism, requiring knowledge of networks of processes and molecular and protein interactions within and among cells, organs, and an organism as a whole. Studies of normal development and birth defects are more established classical disciplines. However to date, there has been very little integration of system biologic approaches to the study of development and inborn errors of development. Scientists who are versed in both mathematics and biology are needed to address the complexities of development biology by examining the thousands to millions of factors and events that occur simultaneously in a temporospatial and quantitative manner during the lifetime of an organism. Thus, to fill the void of scientists trained in these multiple disciplnes, we propose a new and integrated training program, "Interdisciplinary Training in Systems and Developmental Biology and Birth Defects" at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, which has the commitment and infrastructure to administer a successful and rigorous educational program. The overall organization includes at least 28 faculty from 12 different departments, institutes, and centers as well as 3 multidisciplinary training areas (Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Genetics and Genomics Sciences, and Systems Biology and Disease Therapeutics) and the Graduate School of Biological Sciences. An outstanding group of scientists and educators with expertise in systems biology, developmental biology or birth defects, will be the Director, co-Directors, and the members of the External Advisory Committee, Executive Faculty Committee, and the Curriculum Committee, who will provide the leadership and administration for the program. The Curriculum will emphasize the integration of concepts of developmental biology, inborn errors of development, genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology;and quantitative reasoning, computational biology, and bioinformatics. In addition, new course modules, journal clubs, and seminar series integrating systems biology, developmental biology and birth defects will be created to enhance the unique learning experience. The infrastructure of the training program evaluation;selection of potential candidates;institutional environment, commitment and resources;recruitment and retention;plan to enhance diversity;and training in responsible conduct of research are already existent for other NIH-funded training programs at Mount Sinai and can be applied to this new program. The program, which will be set within a tightly knit medical school and hospital environment, provides exciting and unique opportunities for study from genomes and proteins to cells to animal models to humans at the bench and the bedside. This proposed training will undoubtedly produce future scientists ready for the new frontier of systems and developmental biology.
A new predoctoral training program integrating the disciplines of systems biology, developmental biology and birth defects is proposed to train the future generation of scientists primed to address important research questions related to networks and processes of complex interactions underlying healthy and diseased states of cells, tissues, &organisms. They will receive didactic &research training in quantitative reasoning, computational biology, bioinformatics, as well as developmental biology, birth defects, genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, and pharmacology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
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