What is the Biophysics Training Grant?

Overview

The Molecular Biophysics Training Program (MBTP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison receives funding through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Institutional Training Grant mechanism (NIH T32 GM08293) to train outstanding students in molecular biophysics. The trainees typically earn doctoral degrees in Biochemistry, Biophysics, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemistry, Physiology, or a closely related field. Trainees receive a stipend from NIH that replaces the need for a research assistantship funded by a professor’s research grant. These prestigious positions are offered only to students entering graduate school with outstanding credentials and a strong interest in pursuing a career in biophysical science. The traineeships are open to citizens and permanent residents of the United States.

Biophysicists frequently emerge from the traditional disciplines of Biochemistry, Chemistry, Engineering, Physics, and Physiology. Their research demands an interdisciplinary approach that combines sophisticated physical methods with modern molecular biology to answer questions about complex biochemical systems at both the molecular and cellular level. Our trainees who pursue the Ph.D. in a traditional field move freely between their home department and the vibrant UW-Madison biophysics community. Important training elements of the MBTP at UW-Madison include formal coursework, informal special topic get-togethers, sponsored poster sessions and the network of collaborative interactions that are fostered.

The Molecular Biophysics Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is administered by a Director (Meyer Jackson, Dept. of Physiology) and a Steering Committee of six faculty and two student representatives. This group jointly administers the Biophysics Degree Program and Molecular Biophysics Training Grant, providing integration and consistency between these components.

 

What are the the benefits?

Trainees on NIH sponsored institutional training grants are recognized on campus for the prestige of the appointment and the leadership they bring to their research. The MBTP enhances a trainee’s Ph.D. program through coursework , poster sessions, special topics meetings, and an open, collaborative atmosphere. Trainees will generally have expanded thesis lab opportunities by virtue of the stipend support that the position carries and the recognition of their status as trainees. Trainees on active training grant support may request travel awards to promote participation in scientific meetings and research supplies awards to support novel experiments connected to the thesis project.

 

Faculty

The faculty trainers that participate in the MBTP apply to participate in the program and are approved by the MBTP Steering Committee.  The Steering Committee considers the research interests of the faculty member, the training environment provided by that lab for graduate students, the record of funding to support graduate student trainees to completion of the degree and the trainer’s willingness to participate in the program.  The group of faculty affiliated with the MBTP (presently 28 members) is a subset of the slightly larger group of faculty who are members of the Biophysics Degree Program. The MBTP group is distinguished by a clear biomolecular, mechanistic focus in their research as well as development and advancement of physical chemical methods that probe molecular details of important biological systems.

 

Molecular Biophysics Training Program Contacts

Director
Prof. Meyer Jackson
2366 Medical Sciences Center, Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-9111
biophysics@bocklabs.wisc.edu

Administrative Office:
Allison Lynch
413a Bock Laboratories, Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-3203
amlynch2@wisc.edu

Kim Voss
413c Bock Laboratories, Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-9880
krvoss@wisc.edu