The Cellular Biotechnology Training Program (CBTP) at the University of Michigan seeks to prepare graduate students for scientific careers that will transform human health through biotechnological innovation. For over 25 years, CBTP has immersed students from diverse scientific disciplines in interdisciplinary training related to biotechnology in order to prepare the next generation of leaders for a variety of careers options, with an emphasis on opportunities outside of traditional academia. CBTP trainees belong to one of 9 graduate Ph.D. programs from four colleges at the university, including: Biological Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Medicinal Chemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The training faculty are accomplished scientists and innovators who are dedicated to graduate education and mentorship. The unique programmatic activities of CBTP provide students with insights into experimental paradigms of diverse disciplines related to biotechnology, as well as exposure to concepts and practical aspects of entrepreneurship and commercialization. These activities include: (1) A biotechnology core course to provide background information on the field and require students to work in multi-disciplinary groups to generate biotechnological product ideas; (2) A required course in Research Responsibility and Ethics (PIBS503); (3) Monthly student dinner meetings to provide informal opportunities for presentation and discussion of student research projects; (4) Research internships in the biotechnology industry; (5) An Annual Symposium with an external keynote speaker and posters presented by students, faculty and affiliated biotechnology companies; (6) Mentoring lunches and networking opportunities with scientists and business leaders in local biotech companies; (7) A shadow program at the University of Michigan Technology Transfer Office and an affiliation with the CoE Center for Entrepreneurship to provide practical experience for our students in technology development into commercial products; and (8) Trainee evaluation and mentoring, and the use of individual development (IDPs) plans to promote career advancement. These innovative activities are a mechanism for student interaction and networking with peers, faculty and industry professionals and a centerpiece of CBTP. The strength of CBTP has been recognized by the University through significant financial support and by its designation as a certificate-granting program. Overall, CBTP reinforces the excellent academic education provided by departmental faculty by emphasizing interdisciplinary science and providing the tools to translate basic scientific knowledge into commercialized biotechnologies.
The Cellular Biotechnology Training Program at the University of Michigan reaches across traditional academic boundaries to provide graduate students from a variety of scientific backgrounds with multidisciplinary training related to biotechnology and guidance about a wide- range of scientific career options. Our goal is to train future leaders who can transform human health through biotechnological innovation.
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