This proposal seeks renewal for UCLA's predoctoral Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB) Training Program. The CMB program aims to continue to train the next generations of young men and women that will lead innovation in molecular and cellular biology approaches to improving human health. The program focuses on a broad based training that emphasizes trainee interactions and interdisciplinary studies to prepare scientists who will be poised to take full advantage of technological advances in genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, as well as in fields such as imaging, mass spectrometry, and macromolecular structure analysis. The program has a strong emphasis on research integrity training and on enhancing diversity and enlarging the pool of underrepresented scientists. The current training faculty comes from both the UCLA College of Letters and Sciences and the adjacent UCLA School of Medicine, including 32 members of the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology; Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics; Biological Chemistry; Medicine; Orthopedic Surgery, and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Major research areas include biochemistry, cell biology, developmental biology, gene expression, macromolecular structure, molecular and cellular immunology, neurobiology, stem cell biology, virology and microbial pathology. Trainees are selected from the four home areas of the Molecular Biology Interdepartmental PhD program (Gene Regulation; Cell & Developmental Biology; Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology; Immunity, Microbes & Molecular Pathogenesis) as well as the PhD program in Biochemistry, Molecular, and Structural Biology. Students are appointed after review of our Advisory Committee based on their academic and research achievements, as well as their promises to flourish in an interactive and interdisciplinary environment. In addition to meeting the university and departmental or program requirements for their degrees, trainees participate in courses developed specifically for the CMB program including intermediate and advanced research integrity classes (Chem 250 and 203D), as well as seminar classes (Chem 204) that let students talk about their research to their fellow trainees and to the training faculty at multiple stages of their thesis work and prepare individual development plans (IDPs). Outreach, recruitment, and mentoring activities for encouraging underrepresented students to have careers in cellular and molecular biology is also an important part of the program. The training program is for three years and 34 predoctoral trainees are requested to meet the strong demand for this training of very highly qualified students. The facilities are those of a major undergraduate and graduate campus of approximately 35,000 students that includes a medical school faculty. All of the laboratories involved in this program are in close proximity to each other, which facilitates interactions of both students and faculty. This coherent and interactive program has significantly strengthened PhD studies in cellular and molecular biology at UCLA.
The UCLA Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB) Training Program strives to produce the next generation of PhD cell and molecular biologists who reflect our diversity and ethical standards and who are poised to take full advantage of the developing new fields such as proteomics, systems biology, and bioinformatics to advance human health. The foundation of our program is the research training provided by our faculty, complemented by course work, seminars, and programs designed specifically for our trainees.
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