Training Program

We provide a rich training environment for the next generation of predoctoral students as well as postdoctoral and clinical fellows by leveraging community and industry support, institutional investment, infrastructure, and a critical mass of researchers and clinicians with extensive experience in muscle biology and muscular dystrophy.

The training faculty in the Muscle Cell Biology, Pathophysiology, and Therapeutics are highly collaborative, creating a rich environment for training.
Potential Students

Students interested in earning MS or Ph.D. degrees should submit online applications to the UCLA MS Program in Integrative Biology and Physiology or the UCLA Graduate Ph.D. Program in Bioscience. Indicate your interest in the “Muscle Cell Biology, Pathophysiology, and Therapeutics Training Program” in the personal statement of your application and alert Dr. Crosbie-Watson by email (add email address) once your application has been submitted. Faculty with muscle focused research programs are represented in many Home Areas within the Graduate Program in Bioscience. Students interested in discussing graduate school in muscle cell biology are invited to email Dr. Crosbie-Watson.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Students

The UCLA Center for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at UCLA requests new applications for the Muscle Cell Biology, Pathophysiology, and Therapeutics Training Program. Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Positions available. The training program is open to any UCLA predoctoral (Ph.D. graduate students in 2nd year or beyond) or postdoctoral fellow who meets eligibility requirements and whose research interest focuses on muscle cell biology and disease. Please contact Dr. Stan Nelson if interested.

Clinical Trainees

Clinical trainees interested in the Neuromuscular Medicine Fellowship should contact Dr. Stan Nelson or Dr. Melissa Spencer, Neuromuscular Program Director.

Additional muscle focused courses include:

  • M254D “Pluripotent Stem Cells”
  • M254B “Genetic Basis and Mechanisms of Neuromuscular Disorders”
  • M285 “Functional Neuroimaging: Techniques and Applications”
  • PS155 “Development and Structure of the Musculoskeletal System”

The training faculty participate in an intensive course entitled PS156 (face-to-face) and PS121 (online) “Mechanisms and Therapies for Muscular Dystrophies.” The course is modeled upon extensive evidence-based pedagogy in STEM education and includes many innovations. Students are presented with a biological problem focused on an aspect of DMD, LGMD, and CMD. Students discover potential treatments and therapies to restore normal muscle function. This teaching format requires that students investigate basic molecular mechanisms of skeletal and cardiac muscle physiology.



The CDMD sponsors many training activities to immerse students and fellows in the most recent advancements in muscle cell biology research.
  • Lab and Clinical Workshops
  • Working Group Meeting
  • Muscle Cell Biology Journal Club
  • CDMD Scientific Retreat
  • Seminar

Academic, industry, and patient advocacy groups are working together to fast-track FDA regulations for rare disease settings to permit greater translation of potential DMD treatments to the clinic. The surge of new treatments resulted from excellence in basic science and fruitful partnerships between academia and industry, together with efforts from advocacy groups, including the CDMD.