UW Quad - Credit: M McCully
The Biomolecular Structure and Design Program (BMSD) is an interdisciplinary graduate training program. The primary focus of members of the program involves the use and determination of atomic-level structures of biologically important molecules, with aims that include understanding the relationship between structure and function, predicting three-dimensional structures of biomolecules, designing new molecules, with an emphasis on biomedically relevant problems. The program is closely aligned with the NIH Molecular Biophysics Training Grant.
The program began in the 1990's as an effort driven by Rachel Klevit to unite the investigators working on structure and design at UW and the Hutch. The founding members were Pat Stayton, Valerie Daggett, Wim Hol, Mike Gelb, Barry Stoddard, and Rachel Klevit.
BMSD recruits first-year students to the university. BMSD provides a stipend and the students rotate through three BMSD labs. At the end of the first year the student chooses a lab and that student then becomes a member of the advisor's department, while maintaining BMSD affiliation. The Ph.D. is given in the department of the advisor; BMSD is not degree granting. The participating departments (Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry, Chemistry, and Biological Structure) have agreed to the BMSD curriculum. The BMSD curriculum is very flexible, such that the bulk of the courses taken by the student are chosen in consultation with his/her advisor to ensure sufficient general knowledge and a deep understanding in the area of the student's thesis work. Our goal is to train the next generation of interdisciplinary researchers and leaders to combat disease and to solve interesting biological and biotechnological problems.