This proposal is for continued support of a training program in virology, with a major focus on virus-host interactions in eukaryotic cells. Nineteen faculty members will participate, all of whom are members of at least one graduate program composed of faculty at both Rutgers University (RU) and UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Medical School: the Coordinated Graduate Program in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics of RU and UMDNJ and the Graduate Program in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology of UMDNJ-the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. These two programs share recruitment, admissions, curricula, and other training activities. Five predoctoral trainees are to be supported. This training program provides education in physical techniques, recombinant DNA, immunology, host and tissue trophic mechanisms, and host defense mechanisms as applied to the problem of viral infection of eukaryotic hosts. These trainees represent a group of highly trained professionals who will apply their skills to the viral infectious disease problems now confronting the United States: such as the AIDS epidemic, the entry of dengue fever into this country, and the threat of an influenza pandemic. The agents responsible for these problems (and a variety of others) are being intensively studied here, as are research techniques applicable to many other health- related areas. Extensive core facilities are available for the use of trainees. In addition to the techniques of modern biotechnology, trainees become familiar with molecular approaches to vaccine development, approaches to molecular intervention in viral life cycles, and the molecular biology of the interferons and their receptors and signal transduction mechanisms. This program recruits trainees from a large pool of outstanding applicants, including those accepted into the RWJMS MD/PhD program and those coming from an ongoing undergraduate minority biomedical careers program at UMDNJ-RWJMS. The training faculty currently supervise minority and handicapped trainees. The current application emphasizes that the 19 laboratories comprising the training grant provide a cohesive group whose members interact well together in providing training in virology and virus-host interactions.
The object of this program is to train a cadre of students who will be well positioned to meet the challenges posed by virological diseases, those known and those unanticipated, in the twenty-first century.
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