The Training Program in Immunity and Infection (TPII) has been training predoctoral students in the areas of immunology and microbial pathogenesis for the last 15 years. The University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) has unusual depth and strength in the areas of microbiology, immunology, infectious diseases and microbial genomics with well over 100 faculty members in these areas. The training faculty for this program are drawn from the Department of Microbiology &Immunology, the Dept. of Microbial Pathogenesis in the UM Dental School, and three internationally renowned research institutes, the Center for Vaccine Development, the Institute of Human Virology, and the Institute for Genome Sciences. All faculty members are located within a 3-block radius on the University of Maryland Baltimore campus. The training faculty are highly interactive with numerous research collaborations and team-taught courses. Trainees will be drawn from the existing interdepartmental Molecular Microbiology &Immunology graduate program, which is a strong and established graduate doctoral program that includes a common core curriculum, elective courses, journal clubs, seminars, annual symposia and graduate research presentation days. Additional academic work will be combined with rigorous laboratory training through laboratory rotations and dissertation research under the direction of the training grant faculty whose documented expertise will provide inter- and multidisciplinary training opportunities. Predoctoral students are selected from an increasingly qualified applicant pool, as well as from the UMSOM M.D./Ph.D. Program. The program has been highly successful with previous trainees going on to further training and/or careers in academia, government or industry. Of the 13 trainees supported by the TPII in the last funding period, 8 were women (62%) and 3 were underrepresented minorities (23%). The program is guided by a highly qualified team including the Training Program Director, a Co-Director, a Steering Committee, and an External Advisory Board comprised of internationally recognized experts in bacterial pathogenesis, viral pathogenesis, immunology, and microbial genomics. Changes in the next funding period include the addition of a third track in microbial genomics to the existing tracks in immunology and microbial pathogenesis plus additional changes in response to the recent Tilghman report on the future of the U.S. Biomedical Research Workforce. We have taken advantage of our location in the research-rich Baltimore- Washington area and arranged research internship opportunities for our trainees in multiple government agencies such as NIH, FDA, and USDA, as well as in local biotech companies. We have also arranged for our trainees to gain additional teaching opportunities in local colleges and community colleges to provide valuable experience in teaching that will make them more competitive for future academic careers. With this rich training environment, the Training Program in Immunity and Infection is the cornerstone of predoctoral trainee support at UMSOM in microbiology, immunology, infectious diseases and microbial genomics

Public Health Relevance

Our future ability to fight infectious diseases and immunological disorders depends on advanced training of students so that they gain the analytical skills needed to investigated these diseases. Our trainees will get exceptional academic support and mentoring from our dedicated and highly experienced faculty.

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)
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Robbins, Christiane M
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University of Maryland Baltimore
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United States
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