This program, presently in its 15th year of funding, supports training of predoctoral (5) and postdoctoral (3) fellows in the biology of pathogenic microorganisms and their interaction with the human host. Preceptors on this training grant work on bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause important human diseases and on the host immune response against these infectious agents. The principal focus is on the interaction of these microbes with the host and the processes whereby these interactions lead to disease. A central tenet for training is that trainees require exposure to broad, interdisciplinary areas of science to investigate the complex interactions between microbes and their hosts. Trainees are provided with conceptual and experimental foundations in microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, genomics, proteomics, and computational biology. Faculty preceptors (33 at present) derive from three academic departments, four research institutes, and three clinical departments, providing a broad base of interdisciplinary research expertise. Preceptors in this program are highly collaborative and interactive, affording trainees exposure to a wide array of methods and approaches to problems in pathogenic microbiology. Trainees are selected by a committee of faculty preceptors from a highly competitive pool of applicants using clearly defined criteria. Successful applicants report research findings at least annually at a department seminar and receive feedback and critiques from multiple faculty members. The program tracks the progress of trainees both during and after their support by the training fellowship. Mentors and trainees provide a report at the end of the fellowship period describing progress on the research project and on overall professional advancement. An Advisory Committee evaluates the success of the program on an ongoing basis and suggests alterations or improvements as necessary. The program has been very successful in attracting and supporting women and minorities and continues to set a high priority on training members of groups that are traditionally underrepresented in science. Program support is provided by the institution in the form of administrative positions and fellowships for predoctoral students during the early years of their graduate program. This training program has evolved significantly since its initiation, adding a large number of new preceptors and greatly increasing the representation of cutting edge methodologies and novel approaches relevant to understanding how microorganisms cause disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases B Subcommittee (MID)
Program Officer
Robbins, Christiane M
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Oregon Health and Science University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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