The Pathways in Biological Sciences (PiBS) Training Program at UCSD is a new T32 Training Program evolved from the successful 40+ year Cell and Molecular Genetics (CMG) Training Program. PiBS will provide an enhanced practices pathway to produce leaders in diverse biology careers, including academic and industrial research, education, writing, consulting, and policy. Trainees will be a select subset of 30 UCSD Biological Sciences PhD students, conducting research in a variety of pressing problems in foundational and translational biology by the use of mechanistic molecular approaches. Students will be invited to become PiBS Trainees at the end of their first year, soon after choosing a thesis advisor, for a two year PiBS-supported period, followed by maintained Trainee status for the remainder of their PhD. PiBS will instill and amplify six core competencies needed for success, including critical thinking, knowledge acquisition, experimental ability with emphasis on rigor, reproducibility and quantitation, effective communication, leadership tools including team building, networking, and collaborative problem solving, and career development. To this end, the PiBS program will conduct a variety of Trainee-specific activities: yearly one-on-one meetings with the PiBS Director, BGGN290 - a class for in-depth analysis and critique of invited seminar speakers, a twice-yearly public colloquium of Trainee research presentations, a yearly Trainee-organized Symposium of invited leaders from a chosen field, a scientific writing workshop, a path-to-career workshop, career networking guidance, an inclusive mentoring workshop, a white-board ?jam? to enhance clear low tech exposition of science, and ?One Book-One Program?- an annual group discussion of a mutually chosen book. The PiBS Directors actively participate in selection and stewardship of Training faculty who can serve as PhD mentors for PiBS Trainees. This will include training of PiBS faculty in dedicated and inclusive mentoring and ongoing assessment of their effectiveness. The PiBS mission includes oversight mechanisms to evaluate the success and effectiveness of the PiBS program with particular emphasis on evaluating our PiBS training faculty, to ensure our vision of involvement, inclusion, best-practices mentoring, rigorous scientific approaches, and effective impartation of the core competencies required for Trainee success. PiBS Trainee outcomes will be clearly documented, continuously curated, and fully available to Trainees and the Division of Biological Sciences through web- based resources to best self-assess our progress and to inform future Trainees about the most impactful choices for their individual career goals. The PiBS mission is deeply dedicated to maximizing the diversity of the Trainee pool to provide opportunities to the broadest pool of talented students; we strive to create high cultural diversity in the Trainee experience, both to immediately foster distinct and creative viewpoints in the graduate environment and to eventually help create a fully diverse mentoring and participant base as the leadership of biological science and biology-oriented careers in the future.

Public Health Relevance

The Pathways in Biological Sciences (PiBS) program trains a select group of PhD students to prepare them for their future careers while they conduct their graduate research on the most pressing problems in modern biology. PiBS ensures the acquisition of critical scientific, leadership, and communication skills, while instilling a strong and proactive sense of inclusion and diversity. PiBS trainees will benefit society through their career- long contributions to a variety of biological endeavors, including research, industry, education, communication, and policy.

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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University of California, San Diego
Schools of Arts and Sciences
La Jolla
United States
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