The Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington has trained 115 physician-scientists through continuous funding provided by this training grant since its inception in 1976. More than 85% of these trainees remain in research positions. Many have achieved leadership positions such as two that became Deans of Medicine, one that became a Department Chair, 7 that became Division Heads, and 17 others with leadership positions. Trainees that have completed in the past 10 years have had remarkable early success in research careers, including >75% achieving research funding, >50% with K awards, and >90% publishing one or more papers related to their supported research. The continuing objective of the program is to provide post-doctoral training for physician-scientists committed to an academic career in infectious diseases, with particular emphasis on research training. Each trainee selects a mentor for detailed research training in one of six research tracks. All trainees complete a core curriculum consisting of required didactic, research and clinical activities. Many trainees elect to take course work at the University of Washington and an average of two a year seek a MPH or MSc award. The program generally requires three years of training, two of which are supported by this training grant.
Infectious diseases continue to extract a considerable social and financial toll even in developed countries due to factors such as emerging pathogens, AIDS or other immuno-compromising conditions and antimicrobial resistance;in fact, they represent the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The training of new scientists-physicians who can elucidate the basic mechanisms of host defense is critical for the formulation of new and improved strategies to diagnose, treat and prevent infectious diseases.
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