Cellular and Molecular Basis of Disease Training Program

Project: Research project

Project Details


This proposal requests continued funding for the Cellular and Molecular Basis of Disease (CMBD) Training Program at Northwestern University. The CMBD program supports comprehensive pre-doctoral graduate training in the life sciences, focusing on the cellular and molecular mechanisms used in biological systems and targeted by diseases impacting human health. The CMBD program has provided intradepartmental and interdisciplinary training opportunities for Northwestern graduate students for the past 34 years, and has taken a leadership role in fostering communication and collaboration between researchers on the two campuses. CMBD trainees are selected primarily from two integrated interdepartmental programs: the Interdepartmental Biological Sciences Graduate Program on the Evanston campus and the Driskill Graduate Training Program in the Life Sciences on the Chicago Medical School campus. Second-year students are appointed to CMBD and they are typically supported for two years. The Executive Committee selects trainees from all participating departments, and equitably distributes the trainees among available preceptors. Great effort is made to recruit students from underrepresented groups, and CMBD has appointed 24% of trainees in the past five years from underrepresented groups. Institutional commitment to CMBD comes from the Graduate School, which provides tuition supplements, and the Feinberg School of Medicine and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, which contribute stipend supplements, administrative support, and operating funds. All trainees and many preceptors participate in an annual two-day off-campus CMBD retreat, which allows extensive interactions among students and faculty from many disciplines and increases the cohesiveness of the trainee group. The Research-in-Progress meetings occur monthly, when trainees present and discuss their research results and interact with other trainees. Trainees organize and host a series of seminars that bring industrial and academic scientists to campus for discussions with trainees. Additionally, the trainees organize Symposia and Workshops, typically one per year. The workshops provide hands-on training in current and emerging methods, whereas symposia introduce trainees to experts in a given field. CMBD has taken a leadership role in developing and providing two new courses in Rigor & Reproducibility for Northwestern graduate students, including CMBD trainees.
Effective start/end date7/1/186/30/23


  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences (5T32GM008061-39)


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