The goal of the Mayo Clinic Immunology Ph.D. Training Program is to train the next generation of research leaders focused on inflammation and immunity in health and disease. This training grant supports 5 Ph.D. candidates in the Immunology Ph.D. program uniquely situated within a premier academic, not-for-profit medical practice, and thus, provides students with biomedical research training in a rich environment of basic science in immunology with exposure to the translational potential of the discipline. Approximately 30 students matriculate into Mayo graduate School each year, taking a common core curriculum fundamental to biomedical research. Students complete a minimum of 3 laboratory rotations prior to selecting a thesis mentor and their Ph.D. program (Track). There are currently 19 trainees in Immunology, receiving training from a dedicated faculty of 23 well-funded investigators in the field. Students in Immunology receive advanced coursework in the form of required tutorials and journal clubs and electives offered in a multidisciplinary setting. Key milestones in the training program place emphasis on each trainee's mastering the skills needed to evaluate the importance of research areas, formulate critical questions, and devise experimental strategies to provide definitive insights into the questions being addressed. Students learn to communicate ideas and research findings effectively using oral and written formats and practice these skills in classroom settings, at national and international scientific meetings, and by publishing original research articles in mainline scientific journals. The typical training period is 5 years. This program has an exemplary track record of degree completion as well as preparing students to succeed in scientific careers. Eighty-nine percent of the program matriculates have either graduated with the Ph.D. (81 graduates) or are making good progress toward their degrees (19 students). Among the 53 graduates of the program who have now finished their postdoctoral training, 66% have been appointed as university, college, or medical school faculty members (27 graduates) or are directing medical or industry-based research in the private sector (8 graduates).

Public Health Relevance

This training grant supports five predoctoral trainees in the Immunology Training Program of Mayo Graduate School, providing students with the requisite research and leadership skills to become heads of research laboratories and to become academic leaders in the biomedical sciences. This premier program has an exemplary track record. Immunology is a field that transects virtually all areas of medicine. Forty percent of the patients seen at Mayo Clinic in 2009 had diagnoses involving inflammation and immunity;therefore, understanding how the immune response functions in health and disease is vital to our nation's healthcare.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Allergy & Clinical Immunology-1 (AITC)
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Prograis, Lawrence J
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Mayo Clinic, Rochester
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