The page below lists the current members and responsibilities of the different committees that facilitate the operation of the MBSB graduate program. For further questions about each committee, please contact the respective committee chairs.
- Andy Hinck*
- Maria Kurnikova*
- Rieko Ishima
- Tom Smithgall
- Seth Horne
- Ben Van Houten
- Jonathan Coleman
- Angela Gronenborn
The Steering Committee ensures that the interdisciplinary goals and focus of the program are maintained. It also ensures that the quality of graduate student training remains consistently high throughout the program, periodically reviews program issues, and develops proposals for policy revision when needed. The Committee also makes individual decisions regarding requests for major shifts in a student's direction, including 1) requests to change dissertation advisors, or membership of dissertation committees, and 2) recommendations by advisors or dissertation committees for student termination. Finally, the committee is responsible for electing new faculty members to the program and periodically reviewing participation of current faculty members.
Oversight and Evaluation Committee
The Oversight and Evaluation Committee is responsible for monitoring the progress of each graduate student. It schedules placement evaluations of incoming first–year graduate students. It prompts interim advisors to review the progress of first year students, which includes a brief written assessment after the first term. This committee conducts the first–year student evaluation faculty meeting and facilitates the comprehensive exam process. The committee also evaluates the progress of each student each year thereafter by reviewing student files to be sure that annual dissertation committee meetings have been held and that the necessary courses have been satisfactorily completed. Any problems detected are brought to the attention of the student and the dissertation advisor. This committee reviews requests by students and advisors for extensions beyond the fifth year of Ph.D. study; the committee then makes a recommendation to the Steering Committee.
- Ben Van Houten (Chair)
- Lillian Chong
- Angela Gronenborn
- Sanford Leuba
- Gordon Rule
- Emma DeBernardo (Student Representative)
This committee is responsible for monitoring the level, breadth and effectiveness of the curriculum, to propose changes where necessary; to coordinate with departments with participating faculty in order to maintain the courses and/or effect changes in them; and to interact closely with the faculty in the development of new courses. Requests for changes in the curriculum, either of course content or the deletion or addition of courses, are brought to this committee. This committee obtains and disseminates information on relevant course offerings from the participating departments and other local departments; it also maintains a database on the curricula offered by other graduate programs.
The Admissions Committee is responsible for the graduate student admissions in the program. This committee will also develop contacts with other relevant graduate admissions committees with the goal of identifying potential candidates who would be more appropriate for the MBSB program. The admissions committee endeavors to identify applicants with the greatest likelihood of success in attaining the Ph.D. degree. Applicants to be interviewed or recruited are identified by the committee and, when possible, invited to visit Pittsburgh for an interview. In addition, the admissions committee tracks the success of the admissions process each year by maintaining a database of pertinent information on the applicants. This committee reviews admission requirements for the program annually. Recommendations for change in the standards for admission are made to the steering committee.
Attracting applications from first class students and recruiting them to the program. Activities include:
•Identify and directly contact potential students
•Develop and distribute promotional materials such as a brochure and a poster
•Plan and oversee general recruiting efforts
•Coordinate mailings, phone calls, matching services with the Graduate Studies Office
•Monitor the success of each recruiting method
•Participate in interview/recruitment weekend activities to help recruit the best candidates possible to the Program
The seminar committee organizes the MBSB seminar series held during the fall and spring terms. The committee is responsible for soliciting suggestions for seminar speakers from the training faculty and
students and selecting from these speakers that will present diverse topics in contemporary areas of structural biology and biophysics that are of benefit to both the training faculty and students.