The Program in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (PMBB) was created in 1981 by Dr. Stuart Bondurant, Dean of the School of Medicine, to promote genetic engineering research and education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Program encompasses faculty from the entire UNC-CH campus including the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Pharmacy, School of Public Health, and School of Medicine. PMBB has a number of activities in both research and education.
Educational activities include the Carolina Workshops, Carolina Conferences, Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE) Program, and Graduate Training Programs.
Research activities include the Program in Molecular Therapy of Human Disease supported by a grant from the Lucille P. Markey Foundation and and the graduate programs in Protein Engineering & Molecular Genetics and Cell and Molecular Biology. In addition, the Program sponsors several Research Core Facilities utilized by investigators from all departments at UNC-CH.
The Program sponsors a Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), which brings students to UNC-CH to get hands-on experience in research laboratories. The program attracts more than 400 applications for the 18 places and has an excellent record of training women and minorities. The students live together and there is an organized seminar program as well as tours of UNC-CH and Research Triangle Park facilities and the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City, N.C. A number of the students from this program have elected to continue their education either in graduate or medical school at UNC-CH.
The Program has also become very active in graduate education. The Program directs a training program in Cell & Molecular Biology supported by an NIH training grant. The Program has also joined with the Genetics Curriculum to help support the Genetics and Molecular Biology Curriculum. These training programs span the entire campus and students in the training programs can work with faculty from all areas on the UNC-CH campus.
An initiative is the development of the Program in Molecular Therapy of Human Disease supported by a grant from the Markey Foundation. Dr. Jude Samulski, Director of the Gene Therapy Center and member of the PMBB faculty, and Oliver Smithies, Director of Animal Models Center head this program, which included support for graduate student fellowships as well as recruitment of new faculty.
The Program plays an active role in supporting research at UNC-CH. As the liaison between UNC-CH and the North Carolina Biotechnology Council, the Program is very active in supporting core facilities. These facilities provide state-of-the-art technology which is available to all scientists at UNC-CH.