This proposal aims to secure training grant stipends and associated support for students during their first two years in the UCSF/UCB Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering (JGGB). Over the past 18 years, the JGGB has awarded Ph.D.'s in Bioengineering to 116 students, with 56 of these receiving stipends from this NIH Training Grant Award. Such stipends are the backbone for the unique JGGB structure, which requires that students have financial support during their first two years. These initial two years of preparation include intensive course work in engineering and the biomedical sciences, as well as three laboratory rotations, and are essential to the students in selecting appropriate dissertation research topics. In later years the students receive financial support through their research mentor. The JGGB bridges two University of California campuses that possess complementary strengths: UCSF is a leading Health Sciences institution and UC Berkeley's Engineering School is a national leader in the physical sciences. The breadth and depth of the training environment offered to students is of an order larger than a single department could provide. Over 150 faculty based in 25 departments participate in the JGGB. Their laboratories include an array of state-of-the art facilities. An academic and intellectual environment that fosters seamless interaction between physical and life sciences and that trains students to solve complex biological problems with an emphasis on translational research is in high demand. The JGGB has an established record of such integration, and the breadth of opportunity for collaboration is one of the reasons that the program is structured to have students spend two years concentrating on a variety of laboratory rotations and course work prior to committing to their dissertation project. With the recent expansion of Bioengineering research and educational programs at UCSF and UCB, the capacity for training graduate students has increased and the size of the student body has grown from 53 to 148. This training grant is a critical component of the support package that students are offered, and it has therefore become increasingly important for ensuring that they flourish in the present competitive environment. Because qualified applicants far exceed the number of students that can be admitted into the JGGB, we are requesting a phased increase in the number of slots during the next funding cycle from the current recommended level of 15 to 20 students. The unique ability for bioengineers to integrate principles from diverse fields and thereby span the gap between advances in basic science and clinical utilization places individuals trained in this field at a critical point in advancing a translational research agenda that has been recently highlighted by new organizations within the NIH.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
National Institute of General Medical Sciences Initial Review Group (BRT)
Program Officer
Cole, Alison E
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University of California San Francisco
Schools of Medicine
San Francisco
United States
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