This application seeks support for UVA's Biotechnology Training Program (BTP). The BTP is a highly interactive, multidisciplinary and >50% diverse community of PhD trainees drawn selectively from an annual May competition open to PhD students from all science and engineering departments university-wide for which we request 10 predoctoral slots. Trainee funding is for 2 years. Our emphasis is on scientific rigor and communication using the latest tools available with award winning and collaborative dual mentoring giving rise to a breadth of multidisciplinary and academic/industrial training unmatched at UVA. Our advocacy for trainee exposure to a wide variety of careers has been transformational - most importantly for trainees but also for the university with which we share many of our offerings. We believe in trainee career preparedness that is personalized, evolving and built on trust, and that relationships do not necessarily end at graduation. Indeed, our graduates welcome the opportunity to return as BTP seminar or industrial panel speakers with talks focused on, or interlaced with, career reflections; or to help in a trainee advisory/advocate role as members of the BTP Board of Corporate Advisors. They are the ultimate measure of our success. Their outcomes are updated at least quarterly on our grads web page with information drawn from LinkedIn. BTP students in training (21, including 11 minorities) or graduated (65) entered with an average undergraduate GPA of 3.7, are currently hosted by 8 different departments. BTP trainees and graduates have received multiple awards, experienced 73 different externships from 51 different companies, and after graduation are now employed in industry (37), academia (15; including an HBCU Dean), government (3), medicine (3), or foundation (2). Since '05, 164 first author articles have been published in journals with impact factors as high as 24. Trainees develop leadership and teamwork skills by taking direct responsibility for programmatic features of the BTP including: BTP Symposia and Seminars, BTP Day of Caring, BTP Industrial Q&A Panels and BTP company tours. Mentoring our trainees is a highly engaged, collaborative and well-funded faculty of 55 individuals from 14 departments. Institutional support has been essential for our success, including Vice President for Research help with externship and Symposia funding, and an additional training slot funded by the School of Engineering. Our overall goal is to develop the next generation of exceptionally rigorous, creative, talented and diverse scientists who are socialized in biotechnology themes and practiced in teamwork.
Our aims are to: (1) cement a foundation of rigor in experimental planning, data organization and transparency built on the Nature and eLife recognized 'Open Science Framework' in a collaboration with Charlottesville's 'Center for Open Science', (2) to energetically nurture our trainees love and inquisitiveness for science as they acquire new skills to solve important scientific problems, and (3) to overlay this training with various forms of biotechnology exposure, including required externships ? all coupled with a strong and constant commitment to trainee diversity.

Public Health Relevance

We are developing a new generation of diverse young scientists who are broadly skilled with the latest tools of scientific excellence and rigor to be inquisitive and critical as they expand the frontiers of science. We are training these future leaders to be broadly cognizant of the potential of many different scientific careers.

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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Brown, Patrick
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University of Virginia
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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