HIV-1 remains one of the most important infectious causes of global morbidity and mortality. Recent research successes make this an exciting time in HIV/AIDS research - but continued progress will require interdisciplinary, collaborative efforts by highly trained, expert scientists. The goal of this proposal is to prepare young scientists for that role, and to train the next generation of HIV/AIDS researchers. The trainees will be equipped with a broad range of skills and knowledge including virology, molecular biology and immunology as well as training in mentoring, scientific writing, cutting edge research techniques, and other issues important to their career development. Since the previous competitive renewal of this application, we have broadened the research opportunities available, integrated this training program with the University of Rochester (UR)'s new Developmental Center for AIDS Research (DCFAR) and its Clinical &Translational Science Institute (CTSI), added new HIV/AIDS-specific courses, and designed an innovative peer/near-peer evaluation process to enhance trainee career development. We have also added an External Advisory Board to assist with oversight of this program. The program has 4 specific objectives. First: To develop an interactive, productive and exciting interdisciplinary environment in which predoctoral trainees obtain an outstanding education in HIV/AIDS research. This will be achieved by integrating faculty from multiple departments and disciplines. Second: To leverage resources and opportunities created by the UR's new Developmental Center for AIDS Research (DCFAR) and its Clinical &Translational Science Institute (CTSI). This will be achieved by accessing new courses, seminars and cutting-edge scientific core facilities. Third: To provide an enriched training and learning environment for students, with structured seminar programs, distinguished extramural speakers, career development activities, HIV/AIDS-specific courses, an innovative peer/near-peer evaluation process to support trainee career development, enhanced training in the responsible conduct of research, and opportunities for training in mentoring. Students will also be trained in scientific writing, with emphasis on manuscripts and grant applications. Fourth: To foster communication among trainees and faculty through the programs outlined above. This will exploit the intimate environment provided at the UR School of Medicine and Dentistry, where all the participating faculty and trainees work together in the same physical space, under a single roof. Overall, the program will provide outstanding training opportunities in three major emphasis areas: (i) viral replication, RNA biology and reverse transcription, (ii) viral immunology and vaccine biology, and (iii) viral pathogenesis (with emphasis on neuroAIDS).

Public Health Relevance

This program seeks to train predoctoral students for careers as outstanding research scientists in the field of HIV/AIDS. To do this, trainees will be equipped with a broad range of skills and knowledge including virology, molecular biology and immunology as well as training in mentoring, career development, cutting edge scientific techniques, and other issues important to their scientific future.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Research Review Committee (AIDS)
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Sharma, Opendra K
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University of Rochester
Schools of Dentistry
United States
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