The Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine (CMBB) is pleased to offer a new multidisciplinary "Training Program in Marine Biotechnology (TPMB). "This program, funded by the National Institute of General Medical Science (NIH) is designed to create a multidisciplinary educational opportunity providing class work and research activities with faculty from CMBB, the UCSD School of Medicine, UCSD's School of Engineering, and its Basic Science departments.his program focuses on integrated class work, research, and practical experience within the university, at sea, and through partnerships with the local biotech industry. The overall goal is to produce students with a broad education in marine science, medicine, and biotechnology that are ready to become leaders in this rapidly expanding field.

Marine biotechnology is an emerging field encompassing marine biomedicine (new pharmaceuticals discovery), materials technology, bioremediation, marine biomedical model organisms, molecular genetics, genomics, bioinformatics and much more. The fundamental enthusiasm for this discipline is clearly derived from the enormous biodiversity and genetic uniqueness of life in the sea. Thirty-four of the 36 fundamental Phyla of eukaryotes are found in the world's oceans. Many of these life forms, such as those that reside in the deep oceans, are poorly known. Marine microbiology, still in its infancy, is likely to change how we look at global biodiversity.

Collaborating scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), and several departments at the University of California, San Diego, joined forces in 1998 to establish CMBB, the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine. The goal of CMBB is to mobilize diverse scientific disciplines into a coordinated effort to explore new biotechnologies inspired by marine life. The program, centered at Scripps, invites participation from the relevant science departments, and from the Schools of Medicine and Engineering at UCSD. Those that participate have a history of successful interactions. Faculty within CMBB draw students rom a variety of degree programs, including the graduate department of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Biomedical Sciences program at the School of Medicine. Other degree programs involved in this effort are the Molecular Pathology Program, Neurosciences, and the graduate programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry and ioengineering. The Scripps Institution teaching program is ranked as the number one graduate program in marine science in the country, while UCSD as a whole has a stellar reputation in biomedical research coupled to an excellent school of medicine.

There is no question that training students in these areas will be responsive to the growing needs of industry. New pharmaceutical companies focusing on developing new drugs from marine resources now require trained personnel with experience across the disciplines of marine biology, microbiology, chemistry, genomics, bioinformatics and more. As society will soon realize the end of centuries of open ocean fishing, the enhanced focus on aquaculture will generate thousands of jobs for trained marine biotechnologists with training in marine microbiology, pathology, nutrition, genomics, proteomics and more. The growing use of marine products in the food, cosmetic, and agriculture industries has created a current demand we can barely meet. Our marine biotechnology students are currently among the top candidates to fill these positions, and they are in significant demand.