Recent technological advances that cut across multiple disciplines, along with widespread omics approaches, have reaffirmed the need for broad based, interdisciplinary training for the advancement of modern biomedical research. This proposal requests support for the Cellular, Biochemical, and Molecular Sciences (CBMS) training program at Vanderbilt University. The goal of the CBMS training program as it enters its fifth cycle of NIGMS funding has never been more important and integral as we seek to train students to bridge disciplines spanning the breadth of the words that make up the CBMS abbreviation. We serve a unique niche at Vanderbilt with arguably the only training program that is not discipline or disease-specific. The 22 current trainees (18% URMs) and 73 faculty preceptors come from 11 different departments and programs at Vanderbilt with the CBMS training program serving as the unifying entity that brings these participants together to spur interdisciplinary thinking and training. All trainees and mentors are now required to participate i CBMS activities for the duration of Ph.D. training, not just the years during which financial support is provided. This change has accelerated and enhanced overall collegial training by complementing individual graduate program-specific didactic training. Trainees join the CBMS training program after an initial academic year as part of either the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program or the Quantitative and Chemical Biology program. Talented recruits from these programs compete for spots on the CBMS training program. The need for a broad based training program such as the CBMS training program is reflected in the fact that on average, 33 nominees compete for 4 spots each year. Laboratory training and cutting edge research remain the core of the program, complemented by ongoing mentoring, training in Responsible Conduct in Research, exposure to health/disease related research, reproducibility training, quantitative analysis, career counseling, and communication skills. The overall mission and objective is to train students in critical thinking, experimental, and communication skills necessary for productive careers in modern biomedical sciences.
The Cellular, Biochemical, and Molecular Sciences (CBMS) Training Program investigates the basic underpinnings and mechanisms of health and disease by defining biochemical processes and the molecules involved that regulate cells. Our program provides a highly enriching, rigorous environment to train scientists in the language and implementation of CBMS as applied to the most critical questions in medicine and biology. By fostering the development of beginning scientists through mentoring and training by our established cadre of preceptors, our program contributes in a significant way to understanding normal cellular physiology and the malfunctions that lead to disease. This information will in turn lead to development of new approaches and technologies to address critical challenges at the cutting edge of biomedical science.
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