The Penn State ?Eukaryotic Gene Regulation (EGR) Predoctoral Training Program? will train a future generation of scientists in experimental, molecular and computational sciences applied towards understanding mechanisms of eukaryotic gene regulation. The training program will build upon established graduate programs in biochemistry, molecular, cellular and developmental biology, bioinformatics and genomics. The goals of the EGR program are consistent with the Cellular, Biochemical and Molecular Sciences (CMB) program at National Institute of General Medicine. The program aims to cultivate interdisciplinary study and the training of new scientists pertaining to biological problems and cellular and molecular sciences to advance science and improve health. Nearly all aspects of biology and human disease are rooted in gene regulation. Our knowledge and abilities to understand, control, and rectify gene expression and mis-expression is fundamental to the basic knowledge cells and to the basic knowledge of medicine. A recent report from the American Cancer Society finds that we are winning the war on cancer in part because of our understanding of fundamental mechanisms of gene control. However, it is also clear that we must keep up the fight. This fight will require scientists cross-trained in experimental and computational sciences. The proposed EGR training program will train a diverse cohort of student-scientists to have critical expertise in biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, computational biology, and statistics to address fundamental questions in gene regulation. The program will be anchored within the Center for Eukaryotic Gene Regulation (CEGR), which has been chartered to these principles for over 20 years. Penn State?s CEGR has a long-standing reputation for producing outstanding science. This training program will connect and further develop five established graduate programs: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMMB), Chemistry (CHEM), Chemical Engineering (CHE), Molecular Cellular and Integrative Biosciences (MCIBS), and Bioinformatics and Genomics (MCIBS-BG). Combining NIH and Penn State support, the EGR program plans to train a minimum of 13 predoctoral students over a period of five years. Each trainee will be supported for the two years of their training (year 2 and 3) while receiving foundational training in EGR. Trainees will gain a thorough understanding of the scientific process, responsible conduct in science, fluency in innovative research methodologies, ability to utilize genomics and statistical tools in advancing genome-wide experimental approaches, excellence in cross-disciplinary communication, and leadership in cross-disciplinary research teams.
Nearly all aspects of biology and human disease are rooted in gene regulation. Our knowledge and abilities to understand, control, and rectify gene expression and mis-expression is fundamental to basic biological knowledge and medicine. We propose a new predoctoral training program to prepare a cadre of young scientists that excel in cross-disciplinary skills and address fundamental questions related to gene regulation processes and their impact on human health.