Support is requested for continuation of a postdoctoral training program in emerging infectious diseases and biodefense that would support 6 trainees annually and prepare them for clinical, epidemiological, applied or basic research careers in this field. Training will be provided by 21 Program Faculty and 15 Associate Program Faculty in the departments of Pathology, Internal Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Pediatrics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). Faculty include a number of former trainees. Other resources available at UTMB for the training program include the Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Western Regional Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity, the Center for Hepatitis Research, the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development, the Keck Center for Virus Imaging, the Sealy Center for Structural Biology, the Galveston National Laboratory, the WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center for Tropical Diseases, and the Galveston Global Health Consortium. There is currently a shortage of trained research scientists with the knowledge and experience necessary to work with emerging infectious disease agents or NIAID category A, B, and C priority pathogens. UTMB now has a critical mass of outstanding faculty and support personnel working in this area, including state-of-the-art containment facilities needed to work with highly pathogenic organisms. The program's goal is leverage the rich and vibrant research environment at UTMB to enable trainees to become independent investigators within the broad field of emerging infectious diseases and biodefense.
Emerging infections and biodefense are important areas of research and there are not enough trained investigators in these fields. This grant will address this shortage by training outstanding investigators in a dynamic training environment.
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