The experimental toolkit available to contemporary scientists is extraordinary, permitting rapid experimentation with previously unknown precision and innovation. In essence, however, the principles that underlie scientific inquiry remain unchanged. Our new PhD training program in Cellular, Biochemical and Molecular Sciences seeks to blend these foundational principles with state-of-the-art research and the opportunity to develop a breadth of skills and explore a diversity of career options. We will select 5 trainees fromthecohortofstudentswhoenterourPhDprogramthroughacommonportal,andwillsupportthemduring their1stand2ndyears(intotal,10trainees/year).Our38trainingfaculty,representingmultipledepartmentsand disciplines,arepartofacohesivescientificcommunitythatoffersastrongmentoringenvironment. Central to our new training program is the commitment to educate a diverse population of students to conduct science in a rigorous, reproducible, creative and ethical manner. Our curriculum will emphasize the abilitytothinkcritically,tobuildandtestmodelsandhypotheses,andtounderstandtheessentialprinciplesof experimental design. Biomedical science is an empirical discipline, and our students must understand the strengths and limitations of contemporary and classical methodologies. The ability to critically analyze data is essential,asiscompetencywithquantitativemethodsandstatisticalanalysis. We want to ensure that our trainees can work effectively in diverse groups and are skilled at communicating with a variety of audiences. In addition to coursework and a deep immersion in a research laboratory, our trainees will participate in two (out of four) enrichment tracks focused on Communication, Community Engagement and Advocacy, Education, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In the Communication track, students will have the opportunity to hone their skills in written, verbal and multi-media presentations for expert, non-expert and lay audiences. In the Community Engagement and Advocacy track, trainees will work with 4th grade students in a nearby science and math magnet school to foster their enthusiasmfor,andappreciationof,science.Scienceadvocacyinregionalandnationalcontextswillalsobe featured.TraineesparticipatingintheEducationtrackwillbeeducatedin?teachingtechniques?,willparticipate in teaching externships at local universities and give guest lectures at regional HBCUs. Trainees in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship track will earn a certificate by taking an online course and participating in localandregionalpitchcompetitions,andwillparticipateinbriefexternshipsinlocalbiotechnologycompanies andtheMUSCFoundationforResearchDevelopment. Astheypursuetheirdissertationresearch,ourstudentswillparticipateinavarietyofcareerdevelopment activitiesthatintroducethemtoabreadthoffutureopportunitieswithinandbeyondacademe.Theywillbetruly preparedtomakeimportantcontributionswithinthechanginglandscapeofcontemporarybiomedicalscience.
Central to our new training program is the commitment to educate a diverse population of students to think critically, conduct science in a rigorous, reproducible and ethical manner, work effectively in interdisciplinary teams, and communicate with a variety of audiences. In addition to coursework and a deep immersion in a research laboratory, our trainees will participate in a choice of enrichment tracks focused on Communication, Community Engagement and Advocacy, Education, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Our students will be prepared to make important contributions within the changing landscape of contemporary biomedical science.