With the emergence of antibiotic resistance, novel disease agents, the threat of bioterroism, and the growing appreciation of emerging infectious diseases and global health concerns, infectious diseases are an increasingly important research focus. This application seeks to continue the highly successful Training Program in Microbial Pathogenesis at the University at Buffalo (UB), which is currently entering its 11th year. The goal of this program is to train predoctoral students for independent and highly productive careers in microbial pathogenesis. To date, the program has trained 22 Ph.D. students, 18 of whom are pursuing active research careers various areas of microbial pathogenesis. Trainees routinely generate high quality publications, accept postdoctoral positions in top-level infectious disease laboratories, and continue research careers in academia, government, and industry. The Training Program comprises 19 faculty from 7 departments primarily in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (SMBS). A major strength of the program is the broad expertise of the training faculty. Expertise of the mentors spans epidemiology, vaccine production, host-pathogen interactions from the view of both host and pathogen, and basic molecular biology, biochemistry, and structural biology of pathogenic microbes. This diverse expertise within the overarching focus of microbial pathogenesis fosters a highly collaborative environment for trainees. Moreover, this broad expertise provides trainees with a strong framework for viewing their research in the context of a larger perspective, a component of training that is essential for producing innovative and forward-looking scientists. On the practical level, exceptionally motivated students are admitted into the training program on a competitive basis after review of their academic and research credentials. Trainees engage in coursework beginning with a foundation in molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry, followed by required courses and journal clubs that are focused on multiple aspects of microbial pathogenesis and immunology. A wide range of elective courses spanning bioinformatics, gene regulation, epidemiology, etc. are also available. Three national/regional meetings are organized yearly, at which trainees present their research. Trainees also present their data in a weekly scientific exchange seminar series. UB has a wealth of supplementary educational experiences in biomedical sciences available for all trainees who wish to take advantage of the size and scope of this major University campus. To summarize, the focus of this program is to train students to excel in research and to develop insight, independence, laboratory skills, presentation skills, and an ability to critically analyze research of other investigators, and to ensure subsequent placement in outstanding research facilities and institutions.
Microbial pathogenesis is a major public health concern due to the emergence of antibiotic resistance, novel disease agents, the threat of bioterroism, and the growing appreciation of emerging infectious diseases and global health crises. The goal of this application is to train predoctoral students to become future leaders in infectious disease research.
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