NIH Training Grant in Trans-Disciplinary Pharmacological Sciences
Since July of 2010, our graduate program in Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology (MPP) has been honored to be the recipient of a predoctoral training grant in Pharmacological Sciences from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Our training grant is one of fewer than 35 such grants in the country. The grant funds four student trainees per year, but, more importantly, it allows us to try new approaches and activities to improve the program for all our students. Since our students conduct their doctoral research with faculty trainers in many departments and at many locations, on campus and in hospitals, the innovations facilitated by the training grant benefit many people and programs beyond our own MPP graduate program. Among the types of activities that have been developed and/or improved with support of the training grant are our annual graduate program retreat, monthly faculty-student dinners, student-run data clubs, an annual welcome dinner for entering students, career panels, new courses, and many types of mentoring events and resources. The training grant has had a huge positive effect on our program. Information about these improvements has been shared with other programs on campus, and some of the activities have been designed to promote participation by students outside our program as well (e.g., courses and career panels).
NIGMS supports basic and translational research to understand biological processes at the molecular, cellular and systems levels, and to use that knowledge to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases. The NIGMS Institute seeks to insure the continued strength of these research endeavors by providing leadership in the training of future scientists, improving the diversity of the scientific workforce, and enhancing the national research capacity. The NIGMS pharmacological sciences training grant program specifically supports research training that applies basic research to translational medicine by combining computational and experimental methods and pharmacological concepts to develop therapeutic drugs and determine their mechanisms of action.