The Molecular Biophysics Training Grant at Harvard University supports a predoctoral training program focused at the interface of physical and biological sciences. The goal of the program is to provide students with strong undergraduate backgrounds in quantitative sciences (especially physics and mathematics) with broad training in the biophysical, chemical and molecular concepts and techniques that are required to address outstanding problems in biology and biomedical sciences. The training program links a highly interactive group of 51 faculty members from four departments in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, six departments at Harvard Medical School, and five affiliated hospitals. The training program offers a flexible curriculum drawn from courses offered at Harvard, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and research opportunities in a variety of disciplines relevant to molecular biophysics with particular strengths in the areas of structural biology, computational biology, quantitative cell biology, single molecule biophysics, neuroscience, and imaging. In addition to coursework and research activities, the training program sponsors seminars and guest lectures; a student-run research seminar series; a yearly offsite research retreat in the Fall that includes student and faculty research talks, a plenary lecture and a poster session featuring research of program students; a mini-symposium featuring talks by program faculty as well as a student poster session during the Biophysics Program recruitment weekend in the Spring term; and social events for all trainees. Over the past 29 years, this training program has helped foster a number of new initiatives in graduate training, and has been remarkably successful in promoting collaborative research among its faculty and interdisciplinary training for its students spanning all of Harvard and some of MIT. In this competing renewal, we request support for 16 training slots for students who are affiliated with Harvard's Biophysics Program or who are jointly affiliated with the Harvard Biophysics Program and Medical Engineering and Medical Physics Ph.D. program in the joint Harvard/ MIT Health Sciences and Technology initiative. Students will be preferentially funded in their first and second year of graduate studies.
This training program offers interdisciplinary training at the interface between biology and physics, focusing on approaches to explore the structure, function and interactions of key macromolecules of the cell, the control of cellular and multicellular processes at the molecular and genome-wide levels, as well as the development of methods to image and model these processes. Trainees will also learn to ultimately use this information to diagnose, understand, prevent or cure human diseases. !
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