Participating faculty in the MBSB Graduate Program are from the University of Pittsburgh and from Carnegie Mellon University. However, all administration is through the graduate studies office at the University of Pittsburgh. The goal of the graduate studies office is to provide all possible help to potential and registered graduate students in the MBSB program.

The program directors (below) direct and oversee all activities related to the program, assisted by activities and recommendations made by a number of committees: the steering committee, oversight and evaluations committee, curriculum committee, admissions committee and recruitment committee.


Directorship of the Program

Description of Directorship

The Co-directors are nominated by a majority vote of the participating faculty. The appointment is made jointly by the Dean of the respective college, in consultation with the chairs of the relevant departments. The Co-Directors take a leadership role in ensuring the quality of the Graduate Program; serves as a liaison with chairs of relevant departments and Deans of participating schools; facilitates communication among members of the various program committees; implements standard Graduate Program policies; and oversees the routine operation of the Graduate Program.

Current directors

Dr Andy Hinck and Dr Maria Kurnikova are the current co-directors of the MBSB graduate program. Dr Hinck is a member of the Department of Structural Biology at the University of Pittsburgh and Dr Kurnikova is in the Department of Biological Sciences of Carnegie Mellon University.

Previous Directors and Co-Directors

2010-2020: Gordon Rule

Dr. Gordon Rule joined the Carnegie Mellon University Department of Biological Sciences in 1996 and has served as faculty member, actively involved in both teaching and research in the Department, mainly in the area on NMR-focused studies and bimolecular structure and dynamics, since that time.  Dr. Rule has been a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences since 2004.  He was substantially involved in initiating the program and was elected as the Co-Director of the Program in 2010 when Carnegie-Mellon began to officially participate. 

2012-2019: James Conway

Dr. James Conway joined the University of Pittsburgh Department of Structural Biology in 2005 as an inaugural faculty member and as head of the Cryo-EM laboratory. Prior to his appointment at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Conway directed a structural electron microscopy lab at the the CNRS in the Institut de Biologie Structurale, Grenoble, France. Dr. Conway was elected as director of the MBSB program in July 2012.

2005-2012: Angela Gronenborn

Dr Angela Gronenborn joined the University of Pittsburgh in 2005 to found and direct the Department of Structural Biology. Prior to her appointment at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Gronenborn was Chief of Structural Biology at the National Institutes of Health. She was elected director to the MBSB program in July 2005.

2003-2005: John Rosenberg

John Rosenberg, Professor at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine was the founding director, leading the development and inauguration of the program. The first class started in the Fall of 2004.


The directors are assisted by activities and recommendations made by five committees:

  • Steering Committee
  • Oversight and Evaluations Committee
  • Curriculum Committee
  • Admissions Committee
  • Recruitment Committee
  • Seminar Committee

More information on the committees responsibilities, chairs, and members  are available in the MBSB handbook and on this website. Generally, the term of the committee members is 3 years.

Steering Committee

Mission: On a high level, the MBSB Steering Committee will ensure the interdisciplinary goals and focuses of the program are maintained. The committee will also make certain that the quality of graduate student training remains consistently high throughout the program. The Steering Committee will make individual decisions regarding requests for major shifts in a student's direction, including 1) requests to change dissertation advisors or membership of dissertation committees, and 2) recommendations by advisors or dissertation committees for student termination. The committee will vote to accept new members into the MBSB Training faculty, review program issues and develop proposals for policy revision when needed or suggested by other MBSB program committees.

MBSB Program Co-Directors
Dr. Andy Hinck
Dr. Maria Kurnikova

MBSB Committee Chairs
Dr. William Furey
Dr. James Conway
Dr. Jonathan Coleman
Dr. Bennett Van Houten
Dr. Angela Gronenborn