Molecular Biophysics (HAMBP)

Houston Area Molecular Biophysics Training Program (HAMBP)

Providing a unique, inter-institutional biophysical training experience with leading institutions and the latest technology

Theodore Wensel, Baylor College of Medicine

The inter-institutional nature of the HAMBP program provides a rich variety of biophysical training with ready access to state of the art resources and leading scientists at Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, University of Houston, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and Texas A&M Institute of Biosciences and Technology.

Specific research areas include: mass spectrometry, cryo-electron microscopy, raman spectroscopy, NMR of proteins and nucleic acids, X-ray crystallography, rapid kinetics, computational biology, digital imaging, fluorescent spectroscopy, protein engineering and membrane biophysics.

HAMBP Application information

Forms and Applications

Applications are not being accepted at this time.
Application Deadline was May 31, 2016

HAMBP Training Application
IMPORTANT: Please download this form to your desktop first. You may encounter technical issues if you open the form directly from your browser (Firefox does not support the form fields).

In addition to receiving up to three years of financial support, Trainees and Mentors agree to participate in HAMBP activities and meet program requirements. These include course requirements (one semester of graduate level Molecular Biophysics, plus two elective courses; registering and attending the weekly Keck Center seminar series (in person or remotely); completing an approved course in the responsible conduct of research (research ethics); attend monthly trainee meetings during the academic year; attend a yearly research symposium and progress review; inclusion of one or more HAMBP mentors in addition to the major advisor on the thesis committee; yearly meetings with the HAMBP director until graduation; attendance and poster presentation at the Keck Center Annual Research Conference and the Sealy Center Structural Biology Center; research presentation at the Biophysical Society or similar national or international meeting; acknowledgment of training grant support in publications and presentations; and keeping Keck Center informed of career developments after graduation.

Complete and submit the HAMBP Training Application form via email to Vanessa Herrera Please be certain to fill out the application COMPLETELY: you must provide GRE and/or MCAT scores as well as undergraduate and graduate GPA.

Complete and submit the Project Information document (word or pdf format) via email to Vanessa Herrera at, and include the following sections:

- Project Description (max 1,000 words)
- Layperson's Project Description (max 250 words)
- Career Goals (max 500 words)
- Mentoring Plan (max 400 words)
- Grant Support
*Please see full list of detailed requirements for this document in the HAMBP Training Application form

Mentor must submit Mentor Recommendation Letter via direct email to Vanessa Herrera at The instructions are available for download HERE. Only ONE mentor is required for the HAMBP program although dual mentorship is welcomed. This letter should evaluate the applicant in terms of his/her suitability for a research career in molecular biophysics and should specifically addresses the following areas:

- Scientific background and prior training
- Research experience and skills
- Quantitative skills, aptitude and training
- Work ethic
- Communication skills
- Ability to work with others
- Mentor's approval of applicant's Mentoring Plan

Secure two Letters of Recommendation from people other than your mentor. Recommenders should submit their letters directly to Vanessa Herrera.

Submit Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate coursework (Official preferred, Unofficial accepted) to Vanessa Herrera

Submit a current resume (CV) outlining your professional work experience and history to Vanessa Herrera

***Please Note: All application materials, including all three required recommendation letters must be received by Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC) administers this program. The GCC is committed to providing equal opportunity in training for individuals with disabilities and individuals from racial and ethnic groups who are currently under-represented in STEM fields. We welcome applications from all qualified trainees, regardless of ethic/racial status or disability status. All GCC member institutions are ADAAA compliant and have offices of disability support services that provide accommodations and support services to trainees, faculty, staff, and visitors.

HAMBP Program Administrator:
Vanessa C. Herrera
Assistant Director, Grant Programs
Gulf Coast Consortia, MS-141
PO Box 1892
Houston, TX 77005-1892
Tel. (713) 348-4752 Fax:(713) 348-4659

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HAMBP Steering Committee

HAMBP Steering Committee

Theodore Wensel, Program Director
Baylor College of Medicine

B.V.V. Prasad
Baylor College of Medicine

Edward Nikonowicz
Rice University

Yizhi (Jane) Tao
Rice University

Margaret Cheung
University of Houston

Hye-Jeong Yeo
University of Houston

Vasanthi Jayaraman
University of Texas at Houston Medical School

John Putkey
University of Texas at Houston Medical School

Andres Oberhauser
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

B. Montgomery Pettitt
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

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HAMBP Curriculum

HAMBP Curriculum

The requirements of a HAMBP trainee are: (1) to complete the Rice course BIOC 551 (Molecular Biophysics I). UTMB trainees have the option of substituting BMB 6332 (Molecular Biophysics I); (2) to enroll every semester in the Rice seminar course BIOC 592 (Friday afternoon Keck Seminar Lecture Series); (3) to obtain advanced training by taking at least one additional full semester graduate course or two short-term courses in molecular biophysics (consult with Program Director for course approval); (4) to complete an approved course in the responsible conduct of research (research ethics); (5) to attend the annual Biophysical Society Meetings or a similar national research meeting (partial travel support will be available); (6) to present a poster at the HAMBP/Keck Center Annual Fall Research Conference (held annually in the Fall) and the Sealy Center Structural Biology Symposium held annually each spring.

Inter-Institutional Graduate Course Registration Form

Link to BCM Graduate School web page:

RU Registrar:

Responsible Conduct of Research requirement: As the HAMBP training program is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), per NIH regulation NOT-OD-10-019 all trainees must take an approved Responsible Conduct of Research course at the graduate school level. Even if the trainee has taken an ethics course while an undergraduate, or an online course such as from CITI, the trainee must still take a course at the graduate level (online courses by themselves do not fulfill NIH requirements). Trainees must provide the GCC with a transcript or certificate as proof of completion.

The following are approved Responsible Conduct of Research courses:

1. BCM: Grad 513 Science as a Profession
2. UTHSC-H: GS1 10051 The Ethical Dimensions of the Biomedical Sciences
3. Rice University: UNIV 594 Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research; formerly called BIOS/BIOE 594
4. UTMB: MEHU 6101 Ethics in Scientific Research.

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