Understanding the immune system and how it can be manipulated has formed the basis of new technologies, diagnostic tools, and safer, more effective therapies for many medical conditions. Thus, it is very important to train a new generation of young scientists to understand and harness the power of immunity. This is a competitive renewal application for years 16-21 of a training program supporting students pursuing doctoral studies in basic and translational immunology at The University of Iowa. A diversity of areas of immunology available to students is a strength of the program. The goal of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Immunology is to develop the capabilities of students to become successful independent investigators in a variety of careers in basic and applied immunology. The major focus of training is intensive laboratory research conducted under the guidance and mentorship of outstanding faculty immunologists. Complementary aspects include coursework that stresses hypothesis generation and critical analysis skills, a rigorous research-oriented comprehensive examination, training in ethical issues facing scientists, teaching experience, and ample opportunities to gain proficiency in scientific writing and speaking. Students are selected without regard for any characteristics other than their potential as scientists, and are drawn from pools of applicants seeking the Ph.D. in Immunology, the M.D./Ph.D. combined degree, and initially undecided students who select an area of focus at the end of the first year of graduate study. Thirty-two Program faculty are divided into 4 categories. Experienced Mentor/Mentor faculty are active, productive researchers who have successfully trained Ph.D. students (EM) or have trained fellows, but not yet graduate students (M). New Mentors (NM) are junior faculty with appropriate training, and Resource Faculty (R) do not serve as dissertation advisors, but are valuable to the training program in teaching and committee service. How each of these categories of faculty contribute to the program and participate in graduate training is described in detail in the proposal. Information included documents faculty qualifications, student progress, administrative structure of the program, and the detailed training plan for our students. We continue to revise and optimize our Program to best meet the needs of student scientific careers and the diverse scientific workforce of the future. This grant is critical to support our continuing efforts in training predoctoral students from diverse backgrounds for independent careers as immunologists, and also to providing geographic diversity in graduate training in immunology.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research Committee (MID)
Program Officer
Prograis, Lawrence J
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University of Iowa
Schools of Medicine
Iowa City
United States
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