The Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB) graduate program is the largest crossdisciplinary
doctoral program at UC Davis, encompassing 29 disciplines and training over 200 students
in bioentrepreneurship annually. Core coursework includes foundational training in biotechnology and
team science, a bioentrepreneurship seminar series, training in bioethics and an industry internship.
Personalized mentoring and professional development activities that emphasize leadership, science
communication and entrepreneurship have been keys to the growth and success of the DEB, including
the recruitment and retention of ~20% students from underrepresented backgrounds. Institutional
support has allowed DEB program directors to build and sustain this unique model program through
extramural training grant awards and the cultivation of public-private partnerships. A case study of the
DEB is presented to encourage the development of similar cross-disciplinary doctoral programs in
Keywords: Bioentrepreneurship, designated emphasis in biotechnology program, cross-disciplinary doctoral program,
bioethics, public-private partnerships, extramural training grant awards.
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