The University of Rochester is distinguishing itself as an internationally recognized center for excellence in research and training the next generation of scientists studying the molecular bases of disease. However, with increasingly rapid advancements in scientific techniques, the need for greater attention to rigor and reproducibility in research, and the recognition that students use their PhD for diverse careers in the biomedical sciences, there is a need to augment the institutional training of graduate students. Therefore, we propose a T32-sponsored Training Program that will significantly enhance our institutional training activities to better prepare students for a new era. Our proposed Training Program will develop students? skills in initiating, conducting, interpreting, and presenting rigorous and reproducible biomedical research with increasing self- direction. Moreover, T32 mentors will guide students to become more collaborative, and to understand fields ranging from cellular biology, to the molecular behavior of molecules, to computational analyses of large data sets. We will teach students to think broadly in terms of career choices, and to be inculcated in the skills and knowledge required for success in a professional environment. Our program will imbue trainees with an appreciation for the value of diversity in the work force, with skills in the ethical conduct of research, and in workplace professionalism. We will accomplish these goals through T32-sponsored courses and activities that ensure a broad knowledge of emerging technologies, cutting edge methods, and skills required for rigorous experimental design, execution, and communication of results. We propose novel programs for the training of mentors and monitoring of mentee progress. These activities and learning opportunities will be integrated throughout each student?s graduate experience, and not just during the 2-year appointment period. In addition, we leverage the vast majority of proposed activities by making them available to all students, regardless of training grant eligibility. We will develop skills in self-initiated investigation so that students can independently enhance their foundational knowledge and skill sets as life-long learners. The proposed Training Program will not only build on our 14-years of success with our existing T32, such as our centerpiece Graduate Women in Science program, but also add many new essential elements to the existing training program.
This T32-funded Training Program enhances institutional training in cellular, biochemical and molecular biology by providing students with advanced instruction in critical thinking, ensuring scientific rigor and reproducibility in experimental approaches, exposure to cutting edge techniques, and training in professionalism and other skills necessary for using their PhD degrees in a wide variety of career paths. Our training program leverages outstanding research programs in mentor labs in areas related to the complicated biology of DNA, RNA and proteins and their relationship to various diseases.