This application requests the renewal of the Cellular and Molecular Biology Umbrella Training Program (T32 GM007067) in the Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Washington University. The objective of the grant is to provide rigorous, interdisciplinary training in cell and molecular biology to a diverse cohort of students y providing support for 25 funded positions in years two and three of graduate school among students in four PhD programs - the Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program, the Molecular Cell Biology Program, the Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program, and the Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program. Our program holds long-standing commitments to interdisciplinary training, cutting-edge research, and career development. Its organizational structure is designed to maintain effective communication and cooperation among the faculty and steering committees of the four PhD programs and to foster student and faculty interactions that span programmatic and departmental boundaries. Its educational mission is to ground students in the basic concepts and methodologies of cell and molecular biology and to train them to think critically and to write and speak effectively. We seek to evolve our program to keep pace with the ever-changing nature of basic research by helping our students pursue fundamental questions in cell and molecular biology. New initiatives aimed at accomplishing our mission include: 1) the introduction of forums that provide critical training in scientific presentation, 2) the implementation of a Bioinformatics Bootcamp, 3) the seamless integration of the CMB T32 program with a new IMSD R25 training program, 4) the creation of an Annual CMB Program Mini-Symposium, 5) the start of an evening Career Panel Discussion co- sponsored by the CMB and IMSD programs, 6) the genesis of two novel student-run career development organizations that provide short-term experiences in the biotechnology business and science policy, and 7) an ongoing process focused on streamlining graduate training in order to increase student productivity and decrease time to degree. Through these initiatives, we seek to enable our students to pursue careers at the vanguard of scientific research, education, and outreach by helping them establish a broad-based scientific foundation of knowledge and network of colleagues as they initiate their scientific career. In this effort, our guiding philosophy is to extend all successful program elements to as many students as soon as possible in order to maximize the training of all our students and thus the future impact of our students on society.
Most human diseases arise due to disruptions in basic cellular and molecular processes caused by mutations in one's DNA or the presence of a pathogen in one's body. Our program trains students in the core concepts and methods of cell and molecular biology, preparing them to uncover basic insight into the cell and molecular processes that normally control cell growth and development but that when perturbed can lead to diseased states. With better knowledge of these processes we can improve our ability to detect, treat, and defeat many crippling human diseases.
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