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Letter From the Program Director


Dear Prospective Applicants:

Thank you for your interest in our Program in Molecular Biology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. I have become Program Director this year after being a member of the program since its inception in 1987. I want to assure you I will continue to maintain our high academic standards and our wonderful sense of community. The previous directors and faculty members have done a great job in designing courses, retreats and seminars for you. The program has always had the interest of the students as a priority and will continue to do so.

You can learn about the details of our program and the exciting research and training opportunities available by exploring this site, but I will take this opportunity to summarize the strong points of our training program.

The most critical part of any Ph.D. training program is the working relationship between a student and a dedicated, knowledgeable mentor. Molecular Biology is an Interdepartmental Program of highly selected faculty from the basic science and clinical departments in the University who are engaged in cutting-edge molecular mechanistic approaches to understanding basic molecular and cellular processes and important biomedical research problems. Our faculty are highly committed to graduate education and derive a great deal of satisfaction from working with bright enthusiastic students. Also, our faculty have successful well funded research laboratories, thus possessing the resources to offer outstanding training opportunities. As an Interdepartmental Program of 60 faculty, we have the unique advantage of offering a wide choice of thesis mentors and range of research areas. At the same time Molecular Biology is not overly large and has a close-knit family atmosphere.

We offer the necessary didactic instruction, while permitting time for students to aggressively pursue their research programs. To have a competitive advantage after graduation, scientists must communicate their ideas with clarity and excitement both in writing and speaking. We help our students gain these skills in a supportive environment.

Our program is student-driven and student-centered. We have both formal and informal mechanisms for student input into the curriculum and other program activities, as well as the selection of future fellow students. Our students are bright and motivated, and we regard them as respected colleagues in refining the program and in maintaining its excellence.

We are proud of our program and the success it has enjoyed. Our track record is superb with many of our graduates going on to professional careers in academia, medicine and the biotechnology industry. As recognition of our excellence, the Program is funded by a competitively awarded training grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH). Several of our students have the honor and distinction of receiving pre-doctoral fellowships from the NIH grant. We are delighted that you are interested. On behalf of the faculty and students, I invite you to make further inquiry and look forward to receiving your application to the program.


Robert A. Sclafani, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Program in Molecular Biology