Graduate Programme Overview

Programme Director: Julie Pitcher

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The four-year Graduate Programme is designed to train future group leaders for a career in molecular cell biology research or their alternative chosen pathway. The LMCB provides an outstanding scientific environment and cutting edge technology. The LMCB is one of the four departments of the faculty of Life Sciences at UCL and it is strategically located at the heart of London main scientific institutions.
The LMCB graduate programme, established in 1996, now includes about 30 investigators who participate in the training of Ph.D. candidates. The goals of our training are to produce scientists who have explored one area and one level of analysis in great depth, but who are familiar with the full scope of molecular and cell biology. They should be able to move from one level to another in a critical and creative manner. We also try to develop an appreciation for translational research that bears on human disease. Graduate students spend four years in the Programme and are entirely supported by an MRC grant. During their first year, students have a free choice of three laboratories from the groups within the LMCB plus additional participating labs from other departments in UCL, and spend three months in each, working on research projects. They also participate in twice weekly tutorials that are designed to broaden their understanding of the various areas of molecular cell biology as well as developmental biology, neurobiology, immunology and the cell biology of disease.

Towards the end of their first year, students select a supervisor and lab in which they will carry out their three-year thesis project. We provide a course specifically designed to offer training in fundamental aspects of molecular and cell biology, as well as an opportunity to carry out cutting-edge research in a vibrant and internationally competitive environment. The first year group shares tutorials practical courses and informal discussion meetings. In addition, there are about 30 other students in the LMCB, and students also participate in the wider graduate student social life of UCL. We also arrange for the first year students to attend the annual meeting of the British Society for Cell Biology/Developmentl Biology, and expect attendance international meetings in subsequent years.
We have established a link between the LMCB Graduate Programme and the Cell Biology (Tetrad) graduate program at The University of California San Francisco (UCSF). The link will allow members of the LMCB Graduate programme to undertake short rotation and collaborative projects in laboratories at UCSF. Members of the UCSF Tetrad programme will similarly be able to undertake exchange visits with members of the LMCB Graduate Programme and the selection will be based on scientific merit. The scheme aims to extend the academic experience and technical expertise of LMCB and UCSF Cell Biology graduate students, promoting the mobility of young scientists, removing cultural barriers and providing international experience for students in both programs.

Eligible Supervisors