Contact: Dr. Stefan Maas -- 301-594-0943
Training in this area should be directed toward building the broad research competence required to investigate the integrative, regulatory and developmental processes of higher organisms and the functional components of these processes. The goal of these programs is to train scientists who will use a diversity of experimental approaches--from the molecular and cellular to the behavioral and computational--to understand integrated and complex biological problems. The training environment should promote intellectual cross-fertilization, provide opportunities for students to establish their own research niches and encourage a systems/integrative perspective to understanding biology. It is expected that students will participate in a series of laboratory rotations in their early years of training to expose them to investigations across scales (from molecular to whole-organism), and in order to gain breadth and to become aware of the range of research faculty and opportunities available to them. Programs may offer a curriculum designed to reinforce a systems and integrative perspective, including, for example, courses on organ/systems physiology or courses with a broad focus on human disease. In addition, the training experience should be enhanced by various programmatic activities, such as seminars, journals clubs and annual retreats, as well as training in the responsible conduct of research. The graduates of the program should be well versed in quantitative approaches to biology. Trainees may be drawn from a diverse pool of students with varied backgrounds who have a desire to acquire training in the systems/integrative approach to biology. The training program should bring together varied resources, approaches and thesis research opportunities with faculty mentors of such disciplines/departments as physiology, biomedical engineering, the behavioral sciences, biochemistry, clinical sciences, and cell and developmental biology. Training programs centered on the neurosciences should apply to the Jointly Sponsored Institutional Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences (JSPTPN), which is co-funded by NIGMS.