Molecular Biophysics Training Grant (T32 GM008284)

Investigator: Matthew Jacobson, PhD
Sponsor: NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Location(s): United States


The program emphasizes interdisciplinary training at the interface between biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics. A hallmark of the program is the use of experimental and computational approaches to address fundamental questions in molecular function and cellular processes. We recruit a diverse group of students with quantitative backgrounds and train them to tackle the most challenging problems in biology. The hallmarks of our program are: Collaborative and inter-disciplinary research. The Biophysics program currently comprises faculty from 9 departments and 3 Schools. Faculty and students publish many collaborative papers. In addition to being the primary catalyst for bridging the physical and biological sciences, the Biophysics program also bridges between the computational and experimental sciences. Retreats and journal clubs foster collaborative interactions. An innovative curriculum. Our core values of collaboration and inter-disciplinary research are instilled from day one in "Bootcamp", and continue in a new team-based laboratory course and 'mini courses', which involve in-depth exploration of research topics in small groups with faculty experts. Intensive training in communication, and preparation for diverse careers. We believe that intensive training in oral and written communication is critical to achieve our aim of training scientific leaders, regardless of the diverse career paths they pursue. Students can participate in internships, career preparation workshops, and medical education. Our alumni include leaders in both academia and industry, including several who have started successful companies. A database and associated web interface allow us to track student progress and evaluate the program; student feedback is also critical for guiding program improvements. We are committed to educating diverse students and have developed a robust recruitment and retention strategy. The UCSF Molecular Biophysics training program educates diverse students to apply physical and quantitative approach to solve the most challenging problems in biology and human health.