This renewal proposal supports the maintenance of Cornell?s long standing and successful Molecular Biophysics Training Grant Program. This program provides vigorous interdisciplinary training merging the fields of physical and biological sciences. The program, now in its twenty-seventh year, continues to advance the training of our most motivated and well-qualified students by focusing their graduate academic work around a core curriculum and creating an engaging, cohesive community. The trainees may have undergraduate degrees in either the physical or biological sciences and must have been admitted to the Graduate School at Cornell for training leading to the Ph.D. in a Graduate Field of one the thirty-one participating faculty members who span nine departments, seventeen fields, and four Colleges. All participating faculty are associated with Cornell?s well established and continuously growing Biophysics Program, and have well-funded quality research programs either in physics with strong biological applications or in biology with strong physical connections. The overall research interests of the faculty are broadly distributed and include: structure and function of proteins and other macromolecules using theoretical approaches, synchrotron X-ray crystallography, electron spin resonance spectroscopy, and multidimensional NMR; single molecule studies of dynamics of molecular motors; structures and molecular mechanisms of cell membranes, receptors, and neurotransmitters and associated cellular functions; materials and technology developments including nonlinear laser microscopy, steady-state and time resolved spectroscopy and imaging, single channel recording, nanophotonic optical tweezers, and nanofabrication. Through collaborations and University center facilities, Cornell offers bountiful opportunities for innovation and creative research. The program supports 11 trainees each year, with each individual supported for a maximum of three years. Trainees undertake interdisciplinary studies with advanced courses in mathematics, quantum mechanics, statistical thermodynamics, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, computation and instrumentation, and other special topics. In addition, students participate in multiple program functions including a weekly Biophysics Colloquium, Summer Student Seminar Series, a yearly campus-wide Biophysics Symposium, and a yearly campus-wide Responsible Conduct of Research Symposium. These activities serve to provide a strong, unified program identity within the broad interdisciplinary structure of the program. Thesis research and collaborations in the laboratories of the participating faculty complete preparation for a career of teaching and research in molecular biophysics. Through these experiences, trainees gain exposure to, and experience in, interdisciplinary biomedical research.
Wang, Michelle Public Health Relevance Statement The diagnosis and treatment of disease increasingly relies on the understanding of macromolecular structures and molecular mechanisms that underlie medical conditions and the development of new techniques pertinent to important issues in public health. The goal of this program is to train students to apply the powerful techniques of physics and chemistry to problems of medical significance. This will lead to the design of new drug therapies, the identification of new cellular and molecular targets for said therapy, a better understanding of the cell components involved in diseases, and new, particularly noninvasive, diagnostic procedures.
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