The program will provide pre- and post doctoral trainees with a solid academic background in cellular and molecular immunology, including relevant coursework, regularly scheduled seminars and journal clubs, and rigorous laboratory training with the goal of preparing our students for careers in immunology research. The 24 Immunology Training Program (ITP) faculty represent a broad range of departmental affiliations and research interests but most have either primary or secondary appointments in the Departments of Microbiology, Pathology, and/or Medicine. Predoctoral students will be jointly admitted to one of these departments where they will follow a modified curriculum specifically designed for students in the ITP. However, the major focus for both pre- and postdoctoral students will be an innovative, challenging and focused research experience. This will be accomplished by coupling research training in the laboratory of one of the training faculty with supportive advisory input from other ITP members. The diverse research interests of our faculty provide trainees with a wide range of opportunities in both basic and translational research. Particular areas of faculty expertise include regulation of B cell development and function, transcriptional regulation of gene activity, mechanisms of lymphocyte transformation, immune responses to microbial infections, factors predisposing to autoimmune disease, cytokine biology, cell activation and apoptosis, immunotherapy and vaccine development, toll-like receptors, and innate immunity. We intend to support 8 predoctoral and 3 postdoctoral students each year. Trainees will be selected based on their academic record and previous evidence of commitment and talent for basic research. Special efforts will be made to recruit minority and MD/PhD candidates. The major goals of the program will be: (1) to recruit students of the highest quality, including underrepresented minorities;(2) to provide these trainees with a multidisciplinary background in the immunological sciences, coupled with intensive laboratory training in a particular research topic;(3) to teach the trainees how to ask relevant and feasible research questions;(4) to instill these trainees with a sense of ethical behavior;(5) to develop effective written and oral communication skills among the trainees, and (6) to facilitate collaborative interactions among both students and faculty of the ITP.
The immune response is critical for defense against pathogens and malignancies but an overexuberant response can lead to a range of autoimmune diseases. This program is intended to train the next generation of basic and translational investigators to develop novel treatments for immunologically based diseases and new strategies for vaccine development.
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