Research in Virology requires more than a focused understanding of human pathogens. It requires comprehensive knowledge of viruses that infect hosts ranging from simple eukaryotes to complex multicellular organisms. A more comprehensive understanding ofthe breadth of Virology promises to provide the tools needed to control perplexing and devastating diseases in humans, as well as animals and plants. Substantive steps in knowledge acquisition require programs that prepare students to synthesize data from diverse systems, including model systems. The systems studied by University of Maryland Virology Program members include such important human pathogens as HIV, influenza, papillomavirus, poxvirus. West Nile, caliciviruses, as well as prions, viroids, fungal hypoviruses, and the model plant viruses Tobacco mosaic virus and Turnip crinkle virus. At the core of our training program are 14 well-funded investigators recognized as leaders in their fields from the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, Maryland-Virginia Regional Vet Medicine, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute Center for Biosystems Research, NIH, NCI, and USDA. Our faculty bring an extraordinarily broad range of expertise, from cellular and molecular biology to genomics and evolution, and from biochemistry to nanotechnology and vaccine development Trainees progress through innovative rotations, advanced courses in molecular and cellular biology, signal transduction, virology, and pathogenesis, journal clubs, attend monthly group meetings and a yearly retreat This training, along with state-of-the-art research projects, prepare trainees for careers centered on combating current and emerging viruses that threaten human health. This renewal application requests financial support for five graduate student traineeships. By combining this support with funds available through grants and intramural funds, over 20 pre-doctoral students will be trained in a five year period. The requested support will focus on attracting incoming students and students in their final years. We are committed to offering this exceptional training experience to highly-motivated students, with a special outreach to minorities, who will greatly enrich the potential for a global public health impact.
Viruses infect nearly all life forms, are responsible for some human cancers, and are devastative disease agents that can cause world-wide pandemics. When properly harnessed, viruses can also be powerful research tools for dissecting cellular processes. This training proposal seeks continued support for training virologists prepared to meet research challenges common to all viruses- which include developing strategies to protect humans, animals, and niants from viral di.seases to imnrovfi the nualitv nf nennle's lives.
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