CWRU School of Medicine:

Cell and Molecular Biology Training Program


About the Cell and Molecular Biology Training Program:

The Cell and Molecular Biology Training Program (CMBTP) at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine supports the interdisciplinary training of outstanding, highly motivated graduate students at CWRU-SOM for leadership positions in the  field of biomedical sciences.

The CMBTP is fundementally crosscutting, having no primary departmental affiliation, and draws its faculty from many different academic units.  The CMBTP does not grant degrees itself but provides CMB Trainees with experiences above and beyond the traditional PhD Programs in which students are enrolled.  The CMBTP uniquely focuses on early training at a critical juncture when students are developing their thesis projects, giving them feedback and exposure to a wide variety of experimental approaches and scientific points of view to stimulate a lifelong multidiciplinary and collaborative mentality.

The CMBTP is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) for over 25 years (5T32GM008056-28) and former trainees have gone on to numerous academic and industrial positions.  CMB Trainers hold primary appointments in numerous departments including Biochemistry, Genetics, Medicine, Molecular Biology & Microbiology, Neurosciences, Pathology, Pharmacology and Physiology & Biophysics.

The interdisciplinary nature of the training is a unique aspect of the CMBTP at CWRU-SOM.  The goal continues to be to train students to become outstanding independent investigators capable of applying diverse experimental approaches to solve important problems in modern biology.  Cell and Molecular Biology Training Program draws its candidates from PhD students admitted via the Biomedical Sciences Training Program (BSTP), which recruits Ph.D. students to Case and oversees their first semester of graduate study, as well as those admitted to participating PhD Programs through direct departmental admissions. The CMBTP provides stipend and other support for students who have already selected their thesis advisors, generally extending from the second or third to the fifth or sixth semester of graduate study.


The CMBTP currently has nine appointment slots and 4-5 new appointments are made each year by the CMBTP steering committee.  Prospective trainees are nominated by their thesis advisors and the committee appoints new students based on graduate and undergraduate performace, research progress and a 15-20 minute interview in which the student's research and career goals are discussed.  While there are only nine students receiving support at any time from the training grant, a major goal of the CMBTP is to encourage and support the involvement of former trainees and trainers throughout the student's graduate career.

Although dispersed in a number of different departments, the members of CMB training laboratories gather on a regular basis via two distinct mechanisms: the CMB Trainer/Trainee Seminar Series and the student-organized CMB Symposium Series.