National Institutes of Health Training Program in Biomolecular Science and Engineering

The heart of biotechnology is at the Engineering-Life Science interface, where biological problems are amenable to engineering tools, and biology is becoming more quantitative. As Engineers become more familiar with biology and start applying analytical solutions to biological problems, students need to be trained in interdisciplinary research so they can gain from direct interactions at the engineering-life science interface. Nowhere is this more evident than at the biomolecular level.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute continues its National Institutes of Health Training Program for doctoral students in Biomolecular Science and Engineering. The grant, along with matching funds from Rensselaer, provides funding for nine (6 NIH-supported, 3 Rensselaer-supported) Ph.D. candidates annually. Both the NIH and Rensselaer fellowships cover full tuition and provide a stipend of up to $28,667 annually for two years. Women and minority students as well as students with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply. Twenty-two faculty across four departments participate in the program.                                                          

The NIH Training Program in Biomolecular Science and Engineering at Rensselaer focuses on three research thrusts in biotechnology, namely Synthetic Biology & Biomanufacturing, Regenerative Engineering & Biotherapeutics, and Computational Biology & Bioinformatics.

These research thrusts lead to various combinations of the five training areas [Biocatalysis, Bioseparations, Biomaterials, Biomolecular-Structure-Function-&-Analysis, Molecular Biology & Bioinformatics] and provide core competence to our predoctoral trainees in Biotechnology, Life Science, Data Science and Entrepreneurship. 

Twenty-two faculty trainers are available to mentor/co-mentor each predoctoral trainee. These twenty-two faculty trainers provide courses/training in four core areas and five training areas with an overall goal of producing outstanding Ph.D.s with expertise in one or more of the three focal areas. Each of the three focal areas lie at the interface of the life sciences with key interactions in applied mathematics and information, engineering, the physical and mathematical sciences, and the enabling role of technologies in bioinstrumentation, bioimaging biosensors, biochips, and genomics/proteomics. The focal areas are built on the foundations of biomolecular science and engineering. Four departmental programs (Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Chemistry and Chemical Biology) that comprise the Training Program are engaged in one or more of these focal areas.

What Is NIGMS?

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is one of the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. By supporting basic biomedical research and training nationwide, NIGMS lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

Who Can Apply?

  • U.S. citizens, noncitizen national or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Incoming Ph.D. students or a Ph.D. student with less than one year in the Ph.D. program in one of the participating departments at Rensselaer: Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemistry and Chemical Biology
  • Students that have selected an advisor that is a member of the Training Program faculty
  • Students that have selected a co-advisor from outside their major
  • Students that demonstrate a strong interest and research potential in biomolecular science and/or engineering

How to Apply

NIH Training Program Contact

Dr. Deepak Vashishth, Training Program (T32; NIGMS) Director
Biomolecular Sciences and Engineering
Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street, BT 2213
Troy, NY 12180-3590
(518) 276-2296

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