The objective of this Chemistry-Biology Interface (CBI) Predoctoral Program is to provide cross- disciplinary training to talented students with diverse interests that will enable them to apply the mechanistic and atomistic perspective of chemistry to important biological problems. The program brings together forty outstanding faculty trainers from six academic units at the University of Delaware that represent diverse disciplines of organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, structural biology, molecular biology, cell biology, systems biology, bioinformatics, molecular biology, cell biology, plant biology, virology, and developmental biology. The faculty trainers include both new investigators and established researchers with vibrant research programs in biomolecular science and experience in training graduate students. Trainees with diverse undergraduate educational backgrounds are selected on the basis of their interests in interdisciplinary science, their GRE scores, undergraduate GPA and letters of recommendation. Five trainees are admitted each year through existing graduate programs of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering or Biological Sciences and supported in the CBI program for their first two years. Trainees will satisfy the degree requirements for their specific departmental program in addition to the requirements for the CBI program. Five one semester courses will be selected from a diverse list of course offerings from six departments. A key feature of the CBI program is the three laboratory rotations each trainee undertakes to provide them with hands-on experience in the different disciplines. Between courses and laboratory rotations students are expected to have exposure to concepts and methods from the atomistic to the cellular. All trainees are required to participate in a series of quarterly conduct of research (RCR) workshops. A weekly seminar series provides trainees numerous opportunities to present their own work, as well as learn from both faculty trainers and outside speakers. Each trainee undertakes an intensive independent research experience culminating in a dissertation representing an original contribution to a field at the chemistry-biology interface. This program follows a successful model for training scientists with both broad scientific knowledge as well as solid foundations in a chosen core discipline.
Advances in molecular medicine are often impeded by traditional training paradigms in which chemists and biologists often do not speak the same scientific language nor understand advances in each other's fields. This CBI T32 program provides predoctoral trainees opportunities to learn to share ideas across traditionally separate fields in order to fertilize new ideas and innovations that require working knowledge of both chemistry and biology.
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