Whether metastasizing as cancer, progressing as Alzheimer’s or spreading as HIV, nearly all human disease originates from molecular interactions occurring throughout the body. With support of a five-year, $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, a UNL training program is expanding efforts to combat and treat diseases by preparing more doctoral students for careers spent researching their molecular catalysts. Launched as a pilot program in 2013, the Molecular Mechanisms of Disease program taps expertise of 28 faculty mentors in seven departments. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences funding allows the program to add 30 doctoral trainees over the next five years. Nebraska is the first among nine neighboring states to offer an NIH-funded training program in the cellular, biochemical and molecular sciences, said founding director Melanie Simpson, Susan J. Rosowski Professor of Biochemistry.