There is a continuing and urgent need for greater understanding of virus infections and, consequently, a need for a robust virology research community in the U.S and the world. The purpose of the Virology Training Program at the University of Iowa is to train young scientists to be productive members of that research community. The Virology Training Grant at the University of Iowa helps in two ways. First, it fosters the rigorous training of PhD students in the study of virology. Second, it promotes interaction among students and faculty interested in virology across the University of Iowa. By providing stipend support and travel funds for graduate students, the Training Grant will facilitate the recruitment of students who are interested in virology. By establishing curriculum requirements that include research and literature seminars for the virology community and the collaborative teaching of virology training courses the Training Grant will promote interaction in the larger virology community at the University of Iowa and beyond. There are ten Virology Training Grant faculty members who represent a wide variety of research interests from study of very basic processes in the molecular and cellular biology of virus replication, to study of host animal responses to virus infection, to study of the most efficient mechanisms for gene delivery by viruses. We seek support for five predoctoral graduate students for two years between their second and fourth years of study.
Virus infections have critical public health relevance because: (i) They are a major cause of human disease, (ii) Their intimate relationship with host cells makes them useful tools for studying normal cellular functions, (iii) They are vehicles for gene delivery in remedial gene therapy and vaccine development. There is a need to train scientists who can meet the public health threat and exploit opportunities presented by viruses.
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