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Molecular Signaling and Structure Training

Lab imageThe MSSTP brings together a multidisciplinary group of 49 investigators to provide a unique, high-quality graduate training experience for selected and highly motivated students enrolled in the Graduate Program in Life Sciences (GPILS) .

The genesis for this idea is the realization that molecular signaling and protein structure/function are important areas of scientific inquiry and that students who are trained in both are prepared for outstanding careers in the biological sciences. This formalized training program provides a focus for this training effort. The joint training program among these investigators provides a high-quality training experience.

The vision is to provide students with comprehensive training in the areas of molecular/cellular signalingand structural biology as broadly applied to fundamental disease-relevant problems.

We perceive a substantial need for focused training at the interface between cell/molecular biology and protein structure/function. This is based upon our observation that structural biologists are not always well-trained in the areas of cell/molecular biology as pertains to biologically relevant disease issues and sometime lack the expertise to test findings derived from structural studies in disease relevant cell, molecular and animal models. Likewise, many cell/molecular biology students lack expertise in structural biology and therefore never make the transition to pursuing structure-relevant studies that could help them achieve a better understanding of biological processes.

Our program includes a group of interactive training faculty members who embrace both disciplines and can provide students with outstanding training in each area. The faculty members have stellar training records and have collaborated in teaching, research and training. This program is designed to develop students who can think in both “camps” and move easily between cell/molecular biology and structural analysis. We believe that having scientists trained in this manner will accelerate the rate of scientific progress.

This program is based at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and includes forty-nine faculty derived from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP), the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC), and the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute - Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology (CARB).

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM)

University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP)

University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC)

Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology

Student Trainees

To qualify for a position in the MSSTP, PhD and MD/PhD students must be enrolled in the Graduate Program in Life Sciences (GPILS) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and pursuing research studies in the laboratory of a faculty member associated with the program. Qualified students are eligible to apply for a position in the training program during the second and third years of graduate training. Student selection is based on a number of criteria including performance in the first years of graduate training.

Research Facilities

State-of-the-art facilities are available for molecular biological, biochemical, cell biological, structural, biophysical, physiological, proteomic, genomic and cell/molecular image analysis. Specific instrumentation includes nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), x-ray crystallography, flow cytometry, electron microscopy, cell sorting, confocal microscopy, Biacore interaction analysis, mass spectral analysis, genomics, proteomics, tissue and cell histology, transgenic and knockout mice, gene array analysis, etc.