The UCSF Biomedical Sciences (BMS) training program provides interdisciplinary training to equip diverse students with the scientific and intellectual skills needed to rigorously address important problems in the biomedical sciences with increasing self-efficacy and self-direction, and the adaptability and professional skills needed to continue making contributions in their subsequent careers in the biomedical science workforce. The BMS program?s goals are closely aligned with those of the NIGMS Molecular Medicine program area. The program is unique among UCSF training programs, and addresses a national need for rigorous training of scientists who are motivated and able to apply basic and translational research approaches to dissect the mechanistic underpinnings of human disease, from molecules and single cells to tissue and organ systems. Students emerge from the training program with reinforced scientific identity, a record of scientific achievement, and opportunities to productively contribute to the biomedical scientific enterprise that accord with their own interests and values. We pursue these goals through a combination of coursework, mentored research, and other structured training activities. The BMS curriculum provides a fundamental foundation in cellular and molecular biology, genetics and tissue and organ biology, and integrates understanding of human disease states throughout. It provides opportunities for deep exposure to focus areas through small group discussion- style minicourses, and includes a translational science course that incorporates discussion with clinicians and patients. Workshops teach students to rigorously apply emerging technologies, biostatistics, and computational approaches in research. Skills development in evaluating, proposing and communicating research is also threaded through the first year curriculum and reinforced by laboratory training and mentorship. Career exploration and professional development is emphasized from the beginning of the student experience and supported by robust program and institutional resources, optional internships, and professional mentorship from program faculty, all of whom are required to participate in a Thesis Mentor Development training program. Selection for appointment to the training program is conducted through an application process at the beginning of students? second year of training. Students may also apply for new or continued support at the beginning of their third year in the program. We anticipate supporting 12 trainees annually from the large pool of eligible students in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, which aims to enroll 25 new entrants each year. Intended program outcomes include degree completion in 5-6 years, generation and communication of a body of rigorous and impactful biomedical research, and successful transition to research-related careers in the biomedical workforce. We endeavor to provide an inclusive learning and mentoring atmosphere so that we can uphold the same high standards for program outcomes for all students, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, students with disability, and students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Public Health Relevance

The mission of the UCSF Biomedical Sciences training program is to train a diverse generation of new leaders in the biomedical sciences, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to perform rigorous and reproducible research that will uncover the biological mechanisms that underlie human health and disease. We prepare trainees for success in a variety of careers in which they will contribute to the biomedical scientific enterprise. Society will benefit from the discoveries and treatments that will result from the training of scientists who are motivated and able to apply fundamental and patient-based research approaches to advance human health.

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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Krasnewich, Donna M
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University of California San Francisco
Schools of Medicine
San Francisco
United States
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