Integrated Training in Reproductive Sciences

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Investigator: Synthia Mellon, PhD
Sponsor: NIH National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Location(s): United States

Description

The objective of this Training Program is to prepare reproductive endocrine physicians and other scientists for careers in reproductive biology in basic science or clinical departments. The training program has been operative for the past 20 years during which time 82 postdoctoral trainees (53 M.D., 29 Ph.D.) and 27 graduate students have received training. The program is multifaceted and broadly based, integrating molecular endocrinology, cell biology, cell signaling, genetics, and physiology. Research training will be provided by the 15 members of the Center for Reproductive Sciences (CRS) who hold faculty positions in the School of Medicine in both basic science and clinical departments. The experienced Program Faculty members who are directly responsible for the research training have a broad range of scientific expertise and interests. Current research programs address important issues in reproductive biology including: mechanism of steroid hormone receptor action; molecular genetics and regulation of steroid and neurosteroid hormone biosynthesis and action; development of the reproductive tract; mechanism of GnRH neuronal pulsatility; regulation of endometrial and placental function; genetics of male and female infertility; fetal adrenal growth, development and differentiation; sex determination; endocrine regulation of normal and abnormal reproductive function. Trainees are selected by a Steering Committee following formal application to the CRS and, in the case of predoctoral students, to an appropriate graduate program. Graduate students pursue a course of study leading to the Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Sciences or Program in Biological Sciences. Postdoctoral training will be offered to Ph.D. candidates in related disciplines, and also to clinically trained scientists with M.D. degrees and prior specialty training. In addition to prescribed course work and laboratory or clinical research, trainees will participate in a series of regularly scheduled courses, seminars, journal clubs, conferences, and seminars on the responsible conduct of research. Trainees learn to design and execute basic research projects, analyze data and write manuscripts for prominent peer-reviewed journals. Trainees also prepare and submit grant applications for extra-mural funding, preparing them further for independent academic careers. The strengths of the program include: 1) diverse skills and interests of the faculty 2) the interactiveness of the faculty 3) the substantial laboratory resources of the faculty 4) the outstanding environment for research in reproduction, endocrinology, cell biology, genetics and related areas at UCSF.