The Glycoscience Training Program for Graduate Students

University of Georgia

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences

 

Complex carbohydrates, or glycans, are one of the four classes of macromolecules of life along with nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids. These biomolecules are involved in essentially all physiological or pathological processes. Recently, the National Research Council of The National Academies reviewed the importance and opportunities of Glycoscience, and the resulting report entitled “Transforming Glycoscience: A Road Map for the Future” highlights the importance of education to further this field of research. The GTP is a newly funded graduate training program in Glycoscience at the Chemistry and Biology interface that will address the noted deficiency in graduate education in this increasingly important field of research. Because of its considerable demonstrated expertise and cohesive research and educational programs in Glycoscience, the faculty of the University of Georgia was uniquely qualified to develop such a graduate training program.

Although UGA has a long-standing track-record in Glycoscience, no formal graduate training program in this area has been in place. The GTP has allowed us to develop a Chemistry/Biology interface program and provide a blueprint of predoctoral training in Glycoscience. The 17 training faculty of the GTP has primary and secondary appointments in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Chemistry departments, which are part of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. The mission of the program is to train predoctoral students rigorously and broadly in Glycoscience by integrating both chemical and biological approaches. In addition, emphasis is placed on recruiting students from under-represented minorities and those that are disadvantaged. Students will be chosen in the fall semesters from incoming graduate students in the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences (ILS) student portal and from the Chemistry department.