The goal of the Yale Doctoral Program in Biophysics is to provide students with practical and intellectual training across a diverse range of research topics. These topics cover the activities and interest of a set of faculty linking the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry (MB&B). Our faculty trainers are joined by a shared fascination and particular expertise in structural biology, spectroscopy, physical chemistry, computational chemistry, imaging and molecular medicine. We aim to impart to our trainees, the intellectual and practical skills needed to engage biophysics at the highest level. In recent years, the importance of biophysics to biomedical and basic research has grown and become increasingly dynamic. Our goal, therefore, is to develop in our students not only rigor, but also independence, creativity and adventurousness.
The pool of predoctoral students coming to the two departments of this program have backgrounds that span biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, synthetic and physical chemistry, physics and mathematics. Formal course requirements are augmented by qualifying examinations that, in part, compel a student to define an independent research project and defend it orally to a faculty panel. The training program greatly facilitates interactions between the laboratories of the two departments. These are encouraged when first year students do three rotations in different labs that enable the students to learn new methods and to facilitate the selection of a dissertation supervisor. Intensive research on a dissertation topic follows the selection of a dissertation supervisor. The dissertation research project is given oversight by regular formal meetings of a committee of three faculty trainers. Our student's research efforts succeed in producing peer-reviewed publications and culminate in a Ph.D. thesis defense of their work. Formal ethics training and teaching experience are also essential parts of our program. All trainees serve as teaching assistants for one year under the guidance of the program faculty. These provisions, combined with the strong intellectual and material resources of the faculty, enables the Yale Doctoral Program in Biophysics to produce world-class graduates.
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