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The Chemistry Biology Interface (CBI) Training Program is a unique multidisciplinary Ph.D. training program that focuses on the fundamental underlying chemical principles that govern all biological processes. This dynamic program help students obtain expertise in disciplines related to, but traditionally outside of the student’s normal academic and research experience. All students will experience intensive laboratory research training with the aim of fostering the development of the students into independent, innovative scientists in academic or industrial settings. Research opportunities for the trainees are varied and involve faculty with a wide range of expertise in research at the interface of chemistry and biology. The trainees have access to the most sophisticated techniques and instrumentation in modern research at this interface.

Distinguished faculty members from the Department of Chemistry (College of Literature, Science, and the Arts), the Departments of Biological Chemistry and Pharmacology (Medical School), the Biophysics Research Division (BRD), and the Department of Medicinal Chemistry (College of Pharmacy) have combined strengths to create this challenging new program. The Ph.D. degrees will be awarded in Chemistry, Biological Chemistry, Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry, and Chemical Biology beginning in their second year of their Ph.D. program.

Each student’s course of study is tailored to suit his or her individual goals and includes laboratory rotations in at least two of the participating University departments.

Research and Training Areas

Faculty members in the CBI Training Program represent a rich and diverse spectrum of academic departments. Their research interests pertain primarily to the characterization and mechanism of biochemical reactions, the control of cellular metabolism, and the mechanism of cell replication. The CBI faculty is engaged in a number of existing multi- disciplinary research efforts at the chemistry biology interface as well as individual research programs in the core disciplines. The principal themes of this research include:

  • Structure and mechanism of metalloproteins and model systems
  • Design and synthesis of biologically active compounds
  • Biomolecular recognition
  • Signal transduction
  • Mechanisms of chemical and biological catalysis
  • Nucleic acid structure-function

Major Resources

The facilities and resources available to students in the CBI Training Program reflect the program’s commitment to providing a quality education. At the University of Michigan students will enjoy access to a wealth of first-rate physical facilities thatwill enable them to experience firsthand a wide range of new equipment, thus ensuring their familiarity with the sophisticated scientific methodologies that are critical to research at the chemistry biology interface.

Many outstanding resources are available to CBI students including the following state-of-the-art facilities:

  • X-ray diffraction – EPR and Mossbauer Spectroscopy
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometers (up to 800 MHz for 1 H)
  • Extensive computer facilities for molecular modeling
  • Rapid kinetics facilities

In addition to these facilities, students will benefit from a number of other vital resources at the University of Michigan, including the University’s comprehensive library system the fifth largest among United States research libraries whose total holdings exceed six million volumes, and the University’s computing resources, which surpass those of any other public university in both scope and quality. The University of Michigan Computing Center is connected through fiber optics to a campus-wide network of micro- and minicomputers. The Merit Network connects the University computing community to five other sister institutions in Michigan, and through NSFnet and a variety of other network services to the world beyond.

The University of Michigan and Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan is a public, state-assisted institution, whose main campus in Ann Arbor consists of three subcampuses: the Central Campus, Medical Campus and North Campus. The Central Campus houses most disciplines, including the basic sciences of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics in addition to the College of Pharmacy, which houses Medicinal Chemistry. The Medical Campus houses the clinical and non-clinical biomedical sciences, including Biological Chemistry and related research units, and is within easy walking distance of the Central Campus. The North Campus, located about a mile from the Central and Medical Campuses and linked to both by a University shuttle bus service, is the site of the Engineering, Music, and Art Schools, as well as several other units. A college town with a cosmopolitan feel, Ann Arbor combines the best of small town life and big city culture.

Financial Support

The CBI Training Program is committed to providing all Ph.D. candidates with twelve months of financial support for the four-to-five years of their graduate program tenure. In order to continue to receive this support, students must make satisfactory progress toward the Ph.D. degree. Following completion of the first two years in residence with support from the CBI Training Grant, students receive aid through a combination of teaching and research assistantships, and fellowships. Support includes a generous stipend, full tuition, and excellent health care benefits.

The curriculum of the Training Program includes a novel student sabbatical to be completed while the trainee is support by the training grant. Core courses in Chemical Biology and regularly scheduled opportunities for the trainees to present their research results to the Training Program Faculty and fellow trainees, as well as annual progress reports on February 15th of each year, are also integral to the program.

In addition to these opportunities, CBI students will have the chance to hear and meet a variety of prominent national and international scientists throughout the year during regularly scheduled seminars on the University of Michigan campus. Because student interaction is a key component of CBI, students from individual research groups will also share the results of their latest work during periodically scheduled informal gatherings and at poster sessions that occur at the end of each laboratory rotation period and involve all students and faculty in the Program.

For more information about the CBI Training Grant E-mail: cbi.gen.info@umich.edu