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APRIL 6, 2006
  Biomedical Graduate Studies at Penn Awarded Grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  New program introduces PhD students to the world of clinical medicine

(Philadelphia, PA) - Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has been chosen by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to receive a four-year, $700,000 grant to develop training for students to help shorten the time it takes to translate basic science discoveries into new medical treatments.

BGS was chosen for its proposal to develop the Graduate Training in Medical Sciences (GTMS) Certificate Program, consisting of three modules that present core principles of medical sciences, focus on human physiology and pathology, and offer clinical clerkships that stress translational research. The program will promote more clinically-relevant research by producing basic scientists who have a clearer understanding of human biology and pathology, and who can more effectively interact with clinical scientists to tackle medically-relevant research problems.

"Our current BGS curriculum provides predoctoral students with excellent training in focused areas of basic biomedical science," says Dr. Mitchell Lewis, Director of the GTMS Program. Dr. Carolyn Cambor, Co-Director of the GTMS program, says, "This grant now allows us to augment graduate training with a component that provides comprehensive medical science education that explores human biology and disease."

BGS is composed of seven inter-departmental, cross-school graduate groups: Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics; Cell and Molecular Biology; Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Genomics and Computational Biology; Immunology; Neuroscience; and Pharmacological Sciences. The GTMS Program will be open to all BGS students, and will admit up to six students a year. The curriculum will integrate into existing programs, without lengthening the time it takes to earn the degree.

"It is critical that we develop this training, given the increased intersection between basic and clinical research, and we are excited to provide this opportunity to our students, " says Dr. Susan Ross, Director of BGS.


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