Coronavirus Information for the UC San Diego Community

Our leaders are working closely with federal and state officials to ensure your ongoing safety at the university. Stay up to date with the latest developments. Learn more.

Training Program in Marine Biotechnology

The Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine at Scripps Institution of Oceanography is pleased to offer the multidisciplinary Training Program in Marine Biotechnology (TPMB).

This program, funded by the National Institute of General Medical Science (NIH), is designed to create a multidisciplinary educational opportunity providing class work and research activities with faculty from CMBB, the UC San Diego School of Medicine, UCSD's School of Engineering, and its Basic Science departments.


This program focuses on integrated class work, research, and practical experience within the university, at sea, and through partnerships with the local biotech industry. The overall goal is to produce students with a broad education in marine science, medicine, and biotechnology that are ready to become leaders in this rapidly expanding field.

Marine biotechnology is an emerging field encompassing marine biomedicine (new pharmaceuticals discovery), materials technology, bioremediation, marine biomedical model organisms, molecular genetics, genomics, bioinformatics and much more. The fundamental enthusiasm for this discipline is clearly derived from the enormous biodiversity and genetic uniqueness of life in the sea. Thirty-four of the 36 fundamental phyla of eukaryotes are found in the world's oceans. Many of these life forms, such as those that reside in the deep oceans, are poorly known. Marine microbiology, still in its infancy, is likely to change how we look at global biodiversity.


The mission of TPMB is to prepare students for careers in marine biotechnology. The societal need for both basic and applied research in this area is enormous. Pharmaceutical companies focusing on developing new drugs from marine resources now require trained personnel with experience across the disciplines of marine biology, microbiology, chemistry, genomics, bioinformatics and more.

As society will soon realize the end of centuries of open-ocean fishing, the enhanced focus on aquaculture will generate thousands of jobs for marine biotechnologists with training in marine microbiology, pathology, nutrition, genomics, proteomics, and more.

The growing use of marine products in the food, cosmetic, and agriculture industries has created a demand we can barely meet. Our marine biotechnology students are among the top candidates to fill these positions, and they are in significant demand.

Summary of Outcomes of the program

Average time to doctoral degree = 5.4 years (n = 23)

Percentage of students successfully attaining PhD degree = 100% (23 of 23)

Average number of publications per student graduating with PhD degree = 4.9

Percentage of URM and students with disabilities in program = 28% (9 of 32)