The Training Core will interact with all aspects of the Center by virtue of its goal, which is to facilitate the teaching of creative science thinking, especially by creating an atmosphere that nurtures students’ creative insights. Creative insight stems from abstract thinking plus two types of mental operations: 1) associative (divergent) thinking involving thoughts that are defocused, intuitive and, importantly, receptive to a range of associations; and 2) analytical (convergent) thinking, i.e., the capacity to analyze, synthesize and focus. Furthermore, we are acutely aware of the need to train scientists who can work across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Thus, we are striving for an integrated model for science education that provides interdisciplinary training that enables trainees to speak the many scientific languages spoken across the range of the research undertaken by the SRP Center investigative team.
Our hypothesis is that cross-training of students participating in the MSU P42 Center Grant in disciplines not traditionally linked with the university structure will be achieved through a multifaceted training approach involving laboratory based research combined with formal and informal instruction.
The specific aims are:
- Provide interdisciplinary training to predoctoral and postdoctoral students through research collaborations across biomedical and non-biomedical research projects and cores within the Michigan State University Superfund Research Program (MSU SRP) Center
- Provide interdisciplinary training to predoctoral and postdoctoral students through a monthly journal club
- Provide interdisciplinary training to predoctoral and postdoctoral students through formal instruction (e.g., Computational Biology and Dose Response courses, Distinguished Scholars in Toxicology Lecture Series as well as other seminars on the MSU campus, travel to provide special educational opportunities and elective courses designed to movement towards “Convergence” the third revolution in the biological sciences, i.e., convergence of the life sciences, engineering and the physical sciences
The implementation of these specific aims will, in a synergistic fashion, facilitate the training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who will be afforded a forward thinking interdisciplinary focus and, therefore, be prepared to tackle current and future environmentally-related human health issues.