August 18, 2006

Growth in CPB program may lead to new Ph.D.

Growth in CPB program may lead to new Ph.D.

The Chemical and Physical Biology (CPB) Program — one of the program options for entering graduate students — has hit its stride and is poised to move to the “next level,” said Albert Beth, Ph.D., the program's director.

The CPB program, launched in 2001, targets students who have earned undergraduate degrees in the quantitative sciences — chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics or physics — for doctoral work in research areas that span the boundaries of the chemical, physical and biological sciences.

The program received more than 100 applications for this year's class of 10.

“We are drawing a group of students into the program that we historically had trouble attracting to the IGP, and we have great demand for these students,” Beth said. “The CPB program has turned out to be a centerpiece for recruiting students into training programs around campus.”

The next level for the CPB program, he said, will include expansion to enroll 15 students per year and approval of a Ph.D. degree in Chemical and Physical Biology.

Beth's proposal to the Graduate School for a Ph.D. in Chemical and Physical Biology will be considered by the Faculty Senate and the Board of Trust this fall.

With approval, the degree would become an option for both this year's and last year's entering classes, and the CPB program would join two other degree-granting “programs” in the Medical Center — Neuroscience and Human Genetics. Like those two programs, Beth said, CPB would be open to any student in the sciences at Vanderbilt, not just those admitted through the program.