Established in 2015, and led by Rosen Center Director Frances Arnold, the Biotechnology Leadership Pre-doctoral Training Program (BLP) has grown to encompass 27 outstanding Caltech faculty members from multiple graduate options to conduct interdisciplinary biotechnology research. The BLP training program provides graduate students with unique opportunities to participate in industry-relevant research and exposes trainees to the wide variety of careers available to biotechnology leaders. Thus, the BLP pre-doctoral program provides excellent training for scientists who intend to conduct biotechnology research, regardless of whether they choose to pursue their careers in industry, academia, a government lab, or even decide to start their own companies.
Caltech graduate students are eligible to join the program after their 1st year, and typically join in their 2nd or 3rd year. The program is sponsored in 2021-2022 by Kim and Ginger Caldwell, with additional financial support provided by the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center at Caltech. An integral part of the program is a 2-3 month host company-sponsored industrial 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.