The Watson School of Biological Sciences (WSBS) at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has established itself as a leading graduate program in biology, with particular strengths in molecular biology and biochemistry, cancer biology, genomics, systems neuroscience, and quantitative biology. The WSBS provides a broad biomedical curriculum that enables students to earn a Ph.D. in an accelerated timeframe, without sacrificing the quality or depth of training. The program's success relies on the unique, intensive structure of the first year and regular, WSBS-scheduled mentoring throughout the studies ? innovations that are now being adopted by other forward-thinking predoctoral programs. These powerful elements of the WSBS structure, combined with CSHL's immersive, professional scientific environment and the outstanding mentorship of the WSBS faculty, help train students to be innovative, focused, and self-reliant scientists and leaders. Our graduates complete their degrees almost two years faster than the national average while maintaining a high level of achievement, including over 300 publications ? an average of more than three per graduate. Almost a quarter of our students' first-author publications appeared in Science, Nature, and Cell.A major indicator of the WSBS program's success is the achievements of our graduates in their subsequent careers. Over half of WSBS Ph.D. students who graduated six or more years ago are in tenure-track faculty positions at major research institutions in the US and abroad. Other graduates work in the biotech industry (research and management), consulting, academic administration, and publishing. The goal of this application is a five-year renewal of our Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Institutional Research Training Grant to support the predoctoral training of six students. In keeping with the WSBS's philosophy that the entire predoctoral tenure is a training period, NRSA funds will be used to support students during the first four years of the program. NRSA support allows these trainees their choice of research mentor and gives them an opportunity to develop multidisciplinary, collaborative, innovative projects that may not fall under an existing research project grant. As evidenced by our past successes, these NRSA-supported trainees will gain the skills and experience necessary to be outstanding researchers and to make important contributions to science through their publications and outreach activities. The support and recognition provided by the institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Institutional Research Training Grant will enable us to recruit outstanding and diverse applicants, enhance our innovative training curriculum, and prepare future leaders in science and society.

Public Health Relevance

The Watson School of Biological Sciences (WSBS) at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) offers immersive predoctoral training in the biomedical sciences, with particular strengths in molecular biology, biochemistry, cancer biology, genomics, systems neuroscience, and quantitative biology. The program's success stems from (i) the focused structure of the first-year curriculum; (ii) regular mentoring, scheduled by the WSBS, thereafter; and (iii) the immersive, professional scientific environment of CSHL. The WSBS prepares a diverse group of highly qualified scientific leaders who are making meaningful contributions to biomedical research and society.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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NIGMS Initial Review Group (TWD)
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Salazar, Desiree Lynn
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Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Cold Spring Harbor
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