The Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) training program was founded in 1975 as an interdepartmental admissions portal to allow first-year students to broadly explore research opportunities before committing to a specific department. Beginning fall 2022, CMB will become exclusively degree-granting and entering students will obtain a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology. The Program provides student-centric and flexible training in a research-intensive and highly collegial environment that encourages collaborative and multidisciplinary science. In the first year, students take a modular course that provides in-depth exploration of six self-chosen topics in intensive, 2-week segments with faculty experts. First-year students also are required to select and successfully complete three lab rotations before choosing a faculty research mentor. Additional course requirements include “Modern Techniques in Cell and Molecular Biology” in year 1 and “Grant Writing for Biomedical Scientists” in year 2. The remaining hours of required coursework are fulfilled through self-chosen electives that reflect the specific area of research concentration. There are 120 training faculty from across the University who are affiliated with the CMB Program and approximately 100 pre-doctoral students who matriculated through CMB. Student stipends are provided by The University in year 1 and by the faculty mentor for the remainder of graduate training. Although full funding is guaranteed for all students throughout the PhD, selected CMB students are supported by an NIH Training Grant (NIH T32 GM142605) in years 2 and 3, and all students are encouraged to secure their own funding through submission of grant proposals. The median time to degree for CMB students is 5.5 years.

Mission: Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) is an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program at Duke University that empowers diverse students to become rigorous, responsible, independent scientists, equipped with the technical, operational and professional skills needed to thrive in the modern biomedical workforce. CMB achieves this objective through a safe, equitable, ethical and inclusive training environment, an integrated, trainee-centered curriculum and research experience, and a robust program of faculty mentoring, skills development, career advancement and institutional support.

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