The Biotechnology Training Program (BTP) at UVA, now in its 15th year, has developed into a highly interactive community of PhD trainees drawn selectively from an annual May competition open to PhD students from all science and engineering departments university-wide. BTP students in training (15) or graduated (47) entered with an average undergraduate GPA of 3.70, currently include 2 minorities and 1 financially disadvantaged, and are hosted by 6 different departments. Over the course of the existence of the UVA BTP, trainees and graduates (19% minority or disadvantaged) have received multiple awards, experienced 51 different externships from 38 different companies, and after graduation are now employed in industry (22), academia (14; including 4 Ass't and 1 Assoc Professors), government (3), medicine (5), or foundation (1). One is a company president, two are Directors at GSK and Amgen, and another is an NSF Deputy Director. Since '05, 75 first author articles have been published in journals with impact factors as high as 24. Trainees have taken direct responsibility for programmatic features of the BTP including: BTP Symposia and Seminars, BTP Day of Caring, BTP Industrial Q&A Panels and BTP company tours. Mentoring our trainees is a highly engaged, collaborative and well-funded faculty of 42 individuals from 15 departments. Institutional support has been essential for our success, including Vice President for Research in help with externship and Symposia funding, and an additional training slot funded by the School of Engineering. We view the BTP's mission as threefold: (i) most importantly to train our students to be exceptional scientists who will ultimately contribute to society in diverse professional positions in biotechnology, (ii) to provide a meaningful experience in industrial science via our externship program, and (iii) to promote scientific synergy among BTP students of different disciplines through regular BTP Journal Clubs/Data Sessions, Seminars and Symposia. We argue in the following competitive renewal that success in each of these areas has been achieved, thereby helping to develop a new generation of young scientists who approach new scientific challenges with analytical minds and an extensive array of modern technologies.

Public Health Relevance

We are developing a new generation of young scientists who approach new scientific challenges with analytical minds and an extensive array of modern technologies. The competitiveness of the US in the new global economy is arguably dependent on this kind of training.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Training and Workforce Development Subcommittee - D (TWD)
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Gerratana, Barbara
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University of Virginia
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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