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Quantitative & Chemical Biology
Graduate Training Program

  • Lucy has been selected to receive the 2017-18 IU President's Diversity Dissertation Fellowship

QCB Training Program

Major innovations in biomedical science will become increasingly dependent on scientists trained to understand the chemical and physical logic of biological systems in quantitative terms. We seek to use the training program to leverage our strengths in analytical chemistry and instrumentation development in the creation of new didactic courses and research opportunities focused on interdisciplinary graduate training in the biological sciences. This program is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), T32 GM109825.


The central goal of our NIH-funded Quantitative and Chemical Biology Training Program (QCB TP) is to build and foster an interdisciplinary graduate training environment which promotes a “convergence of fields” that transcends departmental boundaries. In short, we seek to train a diverse cohort of students from the chemical, physical and life sciences to address problems central to understanding human health and disease.


QCB TP preceptors and students enjoy access to a remarkable collection of sophisticated instrumentation including a state-of-the-art nanofabrication and characterization facility, a 300 keV cryo-transmission electron microscope, 800 and 600 MHz NMR spectrometers with cryoprobe systems and a modern x-ray crystallography core equipped with a sample preparation robot. In addition, the Light Microscopy and Imaging Center houses a super-resolution DeltaVision|OMX light microscope, one of the few sited in the country.

This instrumentation coupled with myriad high resolution mass spectrometers used for proteomics, glycomics and metabolomics housed in the Laboratory for Biological Mass Spectrometry (LBMS) as part of a Waters Corporation Center for Innovation, make the Bloomington campus an outstanding venue in which to obtain interdisciplinary graduate training in QCB.

IUB also hosts extensive Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR) that are available to QCB preceptors with research animal needs.

QCB Fellowships

The review of nomination applications for the 2016 fellowship competition is now closed.

QCB Graduate Training Fellowships are competitively awarded to second- and third-year students working on projects at the interface and are supported by a combination of funding provided by the NIH grant, the College of Arts and Sciences and the University Graduate School. Current and previous QCB TP trainees work in the Baker, Bell, Cook, Dragnea, Giedroc, Jacobson, Jarrold, Mukhopadhyay, Pohl, Shaw, Thielges, Winkler and Yu laboratories.

The next fellowship competition will take place in April 2017. Students entering the second and third year as of July 1, 2017 are encouraged to apply for a two- or one-year fellowship period, respectively. Click here for information required to apply for a QCB TP fellowship.

2017 Watanabe Symposium in Biomolecular Machines

Indiana University and QCB TP annually host a research symposium in honor of August “Gus” Watanabe, a renowned physician, researcher and professor who led research and development at Eli Lilly and Company for nearly a decade, and who was a pioneer in the study of the cellular mechanics of the heart. Watanabe assumed the role as President of Lilly Research Laboratories in 1994 and under his guidance, Lilly launched 11 important new pharmaceutical products.

Invited speakers this year include: Taekjip Ha, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Jody Puglisi, Stanford University Medical School; Robert Sauer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Angela Gronenborn, University of Pittsburgh.

Click here for information on past events.

Curricular requirements

RequirementsThe QCB TP is designed to attract students with undergraduate degrees in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, biophysics or physics who seek to develop and utilize leading-edge technologies to explore biological problems important in human health and disease. The overriding principle that governs development of the curriculum is that it is value-added on a traditional core disciplinary program of study. We establish the program in this way because the program itself is not degree-granting. Prospective trainees are admitted to Graduate School in one of five departments or programs and earn their Ph.D. degrees in that department or program, i.e., Chemistry, Physics, Biochemistry, Biology or Medical Science.

The proposed QCB TP is schematized in the figure right and is managed by the Curriculum Committee. It emphasizes the centrality of QCB TP requirements on what is otherwise a standard, distinct disciplinary focus. The two core didactic courses are CHEM C680, Introduction to Quantitative Biology and Measurement and CHEM C681 (formerly C687), Introduction to Chemical Biology I. These courses are designed to arm the student with a fundamental “language” or “tool-box” of chemical and physical biology. All QCB TP students will also register for CHEM C689, QCB Journal Club in the second and third years, with the remaining curricular requirements (3 cr) satisfied by any number of a large list of electives outside of disciplinary courses.

Quantitative Biology Minor: Completion of C680/C681 and 3 cr of approved QCB elective courses (6 cr total) also satisfy the curricular requirements for an approved graduate minor in Quantitative Biology (QB).

Extracurricular activities associated with the QCB training program include the Watanabe Symposium in Chemical Biology, Monthly QCB Evenings, and QCB Seminar Series. The QCB Seminar series was initiated in Spring 2015 and Monthly QCB Evenings made a debut in Fall 2015. Stay tuned!