The five-year program will train 40 predocs for biotechnology-related research positions in industrial, academic and governmental sectors
Thursday, June 20, 2024

To meet the increasing demand for interdisciplinary-educated PhD scientists in the pharmaceutical and other biotechnology industries, the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing (CBB) will launch a new program to train the next generation of leaders. 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded $425,555 for the five-year initiative, which is set to begin in July 2024.

“This new Iowa Biotech Training Program builds upon 32 years of success with a previous T32 training grant supported by the NIH and CBB, which helped to launch numerous stellar careers,” said principal investigator Maria Spies, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and CBB associate director.  “Centered on student growth, success, and a nurturing, interdisciplinary environment, our T32 program will train future leaders in biotechnology-related research and will equip them to succeed in a range of industries.” 

Researcher at the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing

The program aims to provide a deep and diverse education to trainees, including academic training covering qualitative and quantitative aspects of biotechnology, hands-on introduction to industrial methods, and preparation for professional life in biotechnology.

Over the course of the five-year award, 40 trainees will receive mentorship from a host of faculty from four University of Iowa colleges and 10 academic departments. The NIH will fund 24 trainees, and the CBB will support 16 trainees directly.

The leadership team also includes Michael Schneiders, professor of biomedical engineering, who will serve as the director of industry internships, and CBB Director Mark Arnold, Edwin B. Green Professor in Laser Chemistry. 

“This award will have an immediate impact on the training of predoctoral students interested in careers in the field of biotechnology,” Arnold said. “A unique feature of this award is the opportunity for each fellow to experience an industrial internship designed to expose them to biotechnology research and biomanufacturing in the industrial sector.”

Participants will be selected at the end of their first year in graduate school. Support for trainees is available for up to two years, and all trainees continue in the program until graduation. To learn more about the Iowa Biotech Training Program, visit the CBB’s website

The CBB is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research.