This application is to support a new interdepartmental graduate program in Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine (TBMM) at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). The TBMM program was founded in 2004 based on the strategic plan of the college to establish new interdisciplinary programs that will drive a new model of integration of biomedical research, clinical patient care and education. The first TBMM class matriculated in August of 2005 and currently there are 42 TBMM students. The program has over 100 participating faculty from 8 basic and 11 clinical science departments. The major goal of the TBMM program is to train a new cadre of biomedical PhD scientists to work at the interface of basic and clinical research. To train PhD scientists who can more effectively exploit the findings of basic biomedical research to improve human health, we have: (1) designed a unique PhD program with an innovative curriculum and dual mentorship by a basic science mentor and a clinical mentor of research projects that incorporate biomedical sciences with pathophysiology and medical principles. (2) Recruited students to fill the national need for investigators performing translational research at the interface between basic and clinical medicine;and (3) promoted interdisciplinary translational research through student-driven collaborations between basic and clinical science mentors. We expect to graduate PhDs with a solid education in basic science, pathophyisiology and clinical translational research, who are prepared to lead translational research projects. Based on our growing applicant pool and current student body, we are requesting a total of 8 funded positions for years 1-3 with an increase to 10 funded positions for years 4 and 5 of this first award period. This funding will support students in their second and third years of training when they are involved in clinical training as well as pursuing their translational thesis research projects. This funding will allow the TBMM program to mature and document ways to promote effective interactions between basic and clinical investigators and to successfully train a new type of PhD graduate to fill the national need to lead future translational research programs.
This program will train a new generation of biomedical scientists capable of interfacing bench research with clinical medicine. This new PhD awarding interdepartmental graduate program is promoting cross- pollination of science with clinical medicine and influencing all graduate training at Baylor by offering new courses, demonstrating the advantages of dual mentorship, and providing mechanisms for interfaces with the clinical arena.
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