This revised Training Program application will provide students with an exceptional opportunity for cross disciplinary education and research training in the component areas of marine biotechnology, including natural products chemistry, biochemistry, genomics, pharmacology, and medicine. Moreover, this training grant will provide collaborative cross-disciplinary research mentorship through training individual students in different laboratories in multiple departments on the UCSD campus as well as the Salk Institute and J. Craig Venter Institute. To accomplish this mission, the TP has the following objectives: (1) to provide new course offerings that create a unique curriculum on the UCSD campus that is the intellectual foundation for research in the multidisciplinary field of Marine Biotechnology (2) to provide a stimulating series of seminars by leaders in the field of Marine Biotechnology, and to develop skills in our trainees through special opportunities to arrange and host these visiting speakers (3) to provide Industrial Internships that broaden the educational base and technology perspective of our graduates (4) to provide opportunities to our trainees that develop their research presentation skills through an annual symposium, participation in various research and journal clubs, and participation at national and international conferences (5) to provide competitively awarded financial support to especially meritorious trainees for a 2-year period in recognition of their superior research efforts and talents. The rationale for this training program is the need to train students for the biotechnology industry as well as for academia with an integrated knowledge of marine systems and their unique chemical, biochemical, and genetic attributes. To our knowledge, this broad training platform is not offered at any other institution in the US, and thus our graduates are sought after to fill a unique need in industry and academia. The training is proposed for 6 predoctoral trainees in the first two years and 8 predoctoral trainees in the latter three years of the renewal period, supplemented by 2 or more university-supported trainees, to support students in their second and third year of their 5-year Ph.D. programs. The assembly of this faculty and research strength under the auspices of the TP in Marine Biotechnology is helping to create a unique, internationally recognized educational and research program at UCSD.
Marine organisms are an exceptional source of natural products with useful medical properties. Fully accessing these natural products is enhanced by an integrated chemical and genetic approach, which is inherently complex and multidisciplinary. UCSD has a unique assembly of academic and research programs which can train the next generation of scientists in these areas.
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