Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and HIV-1 are serious health problems worldwide. In the United States, 50% of STD cases occur in adolescents and approximately 1 million persons are estimated to have HIV/AIDS. STDs facilitate the transmission and acquisition of HIV-1. This "epidemiologic synergy" has had profound effects on the HIV-1 pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, training future investigators in basic, clinical/epidemiologic, implementation and behavioral research that focuses on STDs and HIV-1 is important from several perspectives. In this context, this is the second competitive renewal of "Training in Sexually Transmitted Diseases Including HIV" at Indiana University. In the first 5 years of the program, we had 5 mentors and 2 postdoctoral slots;in years 6 through 10, we had 9 mentors and 3 postdoctoral slots. To date, 9 PhDs and 5 MDs have trained in our program. The trainees included 8 women and 6 men and 3 African Americans;all the trainees were highly productive. Of 10 trainees who graduated, 9 hold academic or government positions and continue to work in STD/HIV. In this renewal, we request continued funding for 3 postdoctoral slots per year. There are three tracks in the program. The basic science track focuses on the pathogenesis of and host responses to STDs and HIV-1. The behavioral/epidemiology tract focuses on factors that lead to acquisition of STDs, especially in adolescents. The implementation research tract focuses on HIV- 1 care in western Kenya. Candidates must be MDs or PhDs with interest in STD or HIV-1 research. MD candidates may be Infectious Disease Fellows, Adolescent Medicine Fellows or Dermatologists who have completed residency training. PhDs may have degrees in, Microbiology, Immunology, Biostatistics, Psychology, Sociology or related disciplines. Our goal is to train researchers who are conversant with basic, clinical and behavioral aspects of STDs and HIV-1. An important feature of the program is the interdisciplinary curriculum, which includes required attendance at an intensive course in STD and HIV-1 research at the University of Washington, an ethics course, a grant writing workshop, a research conference and journal club. Other courses are available in molecular methods, biostatistics and epidemiology or in the Clinical Investigator Training Enhancement (CITE) program, which leads to a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation. The training faculty is composed of 9 senior mentors who have federal funding and extensive training records. These mentors work on HPV, Haemophilus ducreyi, basic aspects of HIV-1, epidemiology, vaccines, behavioral factors that lead to acquisition of STDs, vaccine acceptance for STDs and implementation research for HIV-1. Nine resource faculty provide important educational components to our program and have the opportunity to achieve mentor status should they meet certain criteria and are approved by the Executive Board.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and HIV are serious health problems worldwide. The goal of our program is to train a mix of PhD and MD postdoctoral fellows in basic, clinical and behavioral aspects of STDs and HIV so that they will be equipped to do interdisciplinary research in this area. Research areas include how these germs cause disease, what behaviors put young people at risk for getting these diseases and how to implement programs to treat large numbers of HIV infected persons in poor countries.
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