Established in 2015, and led by Director Frances Arnold, the NIH Biotechnology Leadership Pre-doctoral Training Program (BLP) has grown to encompass 27 outstanding Caltech faculty members from multiple graduate options to conduct interdisciplinary biomedical research at the micro- and nano-scales. The BLP training program provides trainees unique opportunities to participate in industry-relevant research and exposes trainees to the wide variety of careers available to biomedical leaders. Thus, the BLP training grant program provides excellent training for scientists who intend to conduct biomedical research, regardless of whether they choose to pursue their careers in industry, academia, a government lab, or even in a start up company.
Caltech graduate students are eligible join the program after their 1st year, and typically before the start of their 4th year, in a relevant graduation option at Caltech. Sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences in the National Institutes of Health (T32GM112592) with additional financial support provided by the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center at Caltech, BLP trainees will participate in a 2-3 month industry internship. Monthly learning lunches give trainees opportunities to increase their awareness of non-academic research related careers and interactions that grow their professional networks and allow them to practice skills necessary to compete for internships and jobs in the biotech industry. Annual site visits to biotech venues connect trainees with potential employers, and give trainees a chance to learn more about working outside of academia.