Committee on Molecular Medicine

A new Committee on Molecular Medicine initiated activities at the start of calendar 2002. The Committee provides an academic forum for research interchange and graduate and post-graduate training in the molecular and cellular physiology of several organ systems, and addresses cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, gastrointestinal, and neuropsychiatric function in health and disease. Over 90 faculty members from 15 departments have joined the Committee. This broad participation of scholars from basic science, translational, genetics, and clinical traditions provides for the prompt transfer of fundamental discoveries to practical application in the understanding and treatment of such widespread and important diseases as atherosclerosis, asthma, diabetes, Crohn's disease, and autism. Furthermore, commonalities of scientific foundations and experimental approaches underlying investigation of seemingly diverse questions in these organ systems leads to remarkable cross-fertilization and synergy among faculty and trainees. This is an exciting and rapidly advancing time for the science of medicine, and members of the Committee on Molecular Medicine are at the forefront of progress.

About the Committee

The Committee on Molecular Medicine of the University of Chicago is ideally suited to train future leaders in molecular medicine. Our highly interactive and interdisciplinary format mirrors the multifaceted approach to biomedical science recently espoused in the NIH Roadmap. Integration of scholars from many fields provides students with broad perspective, a wide range of molecular, cellular, and structural techniques, and solid foundation in fundamental biological principles. The Committee on Molecular Medicine and the Department of Pathology cooperate to offer a graduate program in Molecular Pathogenesis and Molecular Medicine. Graduating students receive a Ph.D. degree in Pathology.

Creative graduate courses offered by the Committee on Molecular Medicine, such as "The Making of a Pancreas", stimulate broad consideration of biomedical problems, and provide practical skills in formulating solutions (e.g., writing a mini-grant proposal as the final exam). Post-doctoral research training is available in the laboratories of most Committee on Molecular Medicine faculty, where PhD, MD, and MD/PhD (or equivalent) fellows typically train side by side, each enlarging the learning experience of the other from their complementary prior scientific or clinical endeavors. Many faculty members also lead courses in the Pritzker Medical School.

A biweekly Faculty Seminar Series ensures regular exchange of ideas among faculty and trainees. In each hour-long session, two faculty members present ongoing work in their laboratories. This forum invariably elicits vigorous critical evaluation, and frequently stimulates the establishment of new inter-laboratory collaborations. Complementing these faculty presentations, a series of distinguished Visiting Professors provide research seminars and meet with students and faculty in 1 or 2 day-long stays.