? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The primary goal of the Ph.D. Training Program in Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (MPET) in the Mayo Graduate School is the development of independent investigators capable of directing outstanding research Programs in academia, industry or other settings. The faculty is comprised of 28 well- funded, independent investigators, who focus on a continuum of research areas encompassing studies from basic molecular and genetic aspects of disease through drug discovery and development of novel therapies for cardiovascular and malignant diseases. The faculty provides training opportunities in areas that include computational chemistry, molecular mechanisms of drug action and resistance, metabolomics, novel therapeutic strategies, the genetics of addiction, preclinical and clinical pharmacology, and pharmacogenomics of genes associated with drug responses. Twenty-six predoctoral students are currently enrolled in the MPET Ph.D. training program. A rigorous didactic curriculum includes a series of Core Curriculum courses that ensures a strong fundamental knowledge in biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, statistics, cell biology and pharmacology and a series of tutorial-based courses to provide students with advanced training in molecular pharmacology. During their first two years of study, students complete at least 3 laboratory rotations and select a laboratory for their thesis research. They si for comprehensive written and oral qualifying examinations at the end of year two. After developing a written thesis proposal delineating the questions and approaches to be pursued in the thesis research, the thesis committee reviews the proposed research at the first committee meeting. Students present work-in-progress updates on their research projects to MPET faculty and students each year. Students are required to publish completed work in a timely manner and encouraged to attend national meetings to present their work. The average time to completion of the Ph.D. Program is 5.2 years. Starting in Year 3 and beyond, students meet with their thesis committees at least twice per year and are mentored to identify outstanding postdoctoral training opportunities as the next step in their career development. Graduates of the MPET Ph.D. training program have outstanding track records. They go on to postdoctoral fellowships, with many now serving as principal investigators in academia and industry. We request 4 positions for the next funding period.
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