Infectious diseases remains the leading cause of death worldwide, and the necessity to markedly increase training in infectious diseases has been highlighted by the emergence of new pathogens and the threat of bioterrorism. The complexity and diversity of persistence and pathogenesis mechanisms utilized by microorganisms pose major challenges to the development of effective vaccines to prevent infection and chemical or immune-based treatments of infectious diseases. Research into microbial persistence and pathogenesis requires, in addition to broad training in microbiology, expertise in molecular genetics, biochemistry, immunology, and cell and molecular biology. Thus, there continues to be an urgent need to train a new generation of independent investigators with the interdisciplinary experience and expertise to address these complex issues of persistence and pathogenesis. A goal of the training program has been, and will continue to be, the recruitment of undergraduates and recent Ph.D. graduates in related disciplines (biochemistry, biological sciences, cellular and molecular biology, etc) into advanced studies in mechanisms of microbial persistence and pathogenesis. The training program brings together faculty throughout the University of Pittsburgh, including the School of Medicine, Graduate School of Public Health, and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The Molecular Microbial Persistence and Pathogenesis (MMPP) training program offers a unique opportunity for the coordinated interdisciplinary research training of predoctoral trainees within the structur of the Molecular Virology and Microbiology (MVM) Graduate Program and postdoctoral trainees within the laboratories of MMPP faculty, with additional training via specialized course offerings, dedicated research seminars, retreats, and participation in national scientific meetings. Importantly, the MMPP program is unique in that it leverages concepts in persistence and pathogenesis from diverse viral and bacterial systems with the goal of educating trainees of the diversity of microbial mechanisms, but also enabling the utilization of common themes for their research. Support for 4 predoctoral and 2 postdoctoral trainees per year is requested. Predoctoral trainees can be appointed for up to two years. Postdoctoral trainees are appointed for 1 year with the opportunity to competitively renew their appointments for an additional year. The MMPP program remains committed to the need to increase diversity in trainees, to provide training in the responsible conduct of research, and to provide career guidance for trainees.

Public Health Relevance

Infectious diseases remains the leading cause of death worldwide, and the necessity to markedly increase training in infectious diseases has been highlighted by the emergence of new pathogens and the threat of bioterrorism. The complexity and diversity of persistence and pathogenesis mechanisms utilized by microorganisms pose major challenges to the development of effective vaccines to prevent infection and chemical or immune-based treatments of infectious diseases. A goal of the training program is the recruitment of undergraduates and recent Ph.D. graduates in related disciplines (biochemistry, biological sciences, cellular and molecular biology, etc) into advanced studies in mechanisms of microbial persistence and pathogenesis.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
2T32AI049820-11A1
Application #
8744390
Study Section
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research Committee (MID)
Program Officer
Robbins, Christiane M
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
11
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Pittsburgh
Department
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
City
Pittsburgh
State
PA
Country
United States
Zip Code
15213
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