The proposed training program will continue to provide predoctoral trainees with a solid academic background in molecular pathogenesis, with a particular emphasis on host-pathogen interactions. Training will include relevant course work, regularly scheduled seminars and journal clubs, and rigorous laboratory training with the goal of preparing our students for careers in research in pathogenesis. Faculty recruitment efforts have resulted in the formation of a critical mass of established investigators in the broad area of microbial pathogenesis, and with it an integrated training program for predoctoral students in host-pathogen interactions has been established. In addition to their common research interests, many of the faculty have evidence of collaborative interactions. Faculty research interests encompass areas including regulation of virulence gene expression, host-pathogen interactions, molecular immunology and immune defense, molecular virology and parasitology. The program currently consists of 9 faculty, all of whom are current NIH grant holders and who, as a group, have had a substantial training history and enjoy national and international recognition in their respective fields. The training faculty represents a broad range of departmental affiliations, including the Departments of Microbiology and Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, and the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology in the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. We expect the members of the training faculty to increase over the next several years as recruiting for the National Emerging Infections Disease Laboratory at Boston University School of Medicine begins. The training opportunities for predoctoral fellows in this program will also increase during this same period of time. The major goal of the program will be to 1) recruit and enroll students of this highest quality, including underrepresented minorities;2) provide these trainees with a multidisciplinary background in molecular pathogenesis coupled with intensive laboratory training in a particular research topic;3) to teach the trainees critical thinking skills and to ask relevant and feasible research questions;4) to instill these trainees with a sense of ethical behavior;5) to help develop effective written and oral communication skills among the trainees;and 6) to facilitate collaborative interactions among both students and faculty of the host-pathogen interaction training program.
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