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Opportunities for Graduate Students in Systems Biology

The NIH-funded New Mexico Center for the Spatiotemporal Modeling of Cell Signaling Networks (STMC) will consider applications during the next grant period (August 1, 2015-July 31, 2016) for a Graduate Fellowship. This mechanism will support for dissertation research at the interface of biomedical science, engineering, mathematics, statistics and/or computing. Although the preference is for PhD candidates, exceptional masters students may apply. The current deadline for applications is August 15, 2015.

The STMC focuses on quantitative measurements and the mathematical, statistical and computational modeling of complex intracellular and intercellular signaling pathways contributing to immune disorders and cancer. The anchoring biology addresses signaling through ITAM-based immunoreceptors and through the ErbB family of receptors implicated in multiple cancers. STMC biologists emphasize the development of new fluorescent and electron dense imaging probes and expressed engineered proteins as well as quantitative biochemical methods to provide quantitative data for modeling. STMC physicists are creating new imaging technologies for improved observation and measurement of signaling pathways. STMC computational scientists are developing improved tools for the statistical analysis of fluorescence and electron microscopy images and new mathematical models for signal initiation and propagation that can be tested using quantitative data sets.

Successful applicant(s) will ordinarily have primary mentors among STMC members in the basic sciences or Pathology Departments in the UNM Health Sciences Center, in the Mathematics and Statistics, Physics or Chemistry Departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, in the Computer Sciences, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering or Electrical and Computer Engineering Departments in the School of Engineering. They are encouraged to have co-mentors among STMC members at the Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs. Postdoc applications can be submitted with UNM faculty who are not currently STMC members provided both mentor and student are willing to become STMC members and attend regular events sponsored by the Center.

Eligibility

Fellowship applicants should be full-time students in the Biomedical Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, Physics, Computer Sciences, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, or a closely related graduate program who are currently in years 1-2 of graduate study in their home department and are motivated to conduct a research project that integrates their primary physical/computational sciences discipline with biomedical research or vice versa. They should be willing to undertake a project that involves an interdisciplinary mentoring team, composed of a primary faculty advisor from the home department (who is not necessarily a current STMC member) as well as at least one STMC investigator. Some students will already have a defined project and co-mentors. Others are welcome to work with their departmental advisors and with STMC faculty to develop a project and co-mentoring team. Both mentors and students will be expected to become STMC members and attend regular events sponsored by the Center.

The Application Process

Applications should be prepared jointly by the applicant and the mentor(s). The 1-page application should list the project title, the fellow's name and contact information plus names and contact information for both the primary and secondary mentors. Describe the project in brief (1-2 paragraphs), as well as 1 paragraph on the interdisciplinary mentoring plan (primary mentor and co-mentors, if applicable) and a statement of how the trainee's project is appropriate to the scientific mission of the STMC. Please also submit brief biographical sketches, preferably in NIH format, for the student and the advisor(s), including a summary of active grant support for the advisors. Submit electronically to the Center PI, Dr. Bridget Wilson (bwilson@salud.unm.edu).

Travel Awards

Travel awards ($1000 each) may be available for graduate students to attend professional, scientific meetings. Preference will be given to those presenting STMC-aligned research projects as a poster or oral presentation. Applications will be considered throughout the Fall semester for travel to be completed by July 31. For best consideration, submit your travel fund application as a ½ page request, plus the meeting abstract, by December 20 to bwilson@salud.unm.edu

q-bio summer school scholarships

STMC trainees interested in applying to attend the 2016 q-bio summer school should submit a 1/2 page request by February 1, in order to have a letter of support to accompany your application to the q-bio summer school. Up to 2 scholarship awards to the summer school could be awarded each year.

About the STMC

The STMC is one of the National Centers for Systems Biology funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). It has members in the UNM Schools of Medicine and Engineering and Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Pharmacy as well as at both the Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs. Further information about the NSCB program is at www.systemscenters.org.