The principal objective of the T32 program "Infectious Disease Training in Clinical Investigation" is to provide mentored research training that will prepare physician investigators for successful and productive academic careers in Infectious Diseases. The rationale for this program is that this field continues to witness enormous growth and new challenges due to emerging and re-emerging infections, both within the U.S. and globally, for which a new generation of well-trained clinical investigators is needed. To accomplish this goal, an interdisciplinary faculty from the University of Minnesota Medical School (and its Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Microbiology), School of Public Health, College of Pharmacy, College of Dentistry, and College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as the Minnesota Department of Health, has been engaged in this training program. These faculty trainers have expertise in one or more of eight core topic areas relevant to emerging and re-emerging Infections: 1) HIV/AIDS, 2) Invasive Bacterial Infections, 3) Antimicrobial Resistance, 4) Immunodeficiency/Vaccines, 5) International and Immigrant Health, 6) Bioterrorism, 7) Foodborne Infections, and 8) Zoonoses. The program is designed for physicians who have completed an internal medicine or pediatrics residency program, plus at least one year of clinical training in adult or pediatric Infectious Diseases. It will support two years of focused, closely mentored research training in clinical and/or epidemiological research, as well as completion of the requirements for a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology or Master of Science in Clinical Research degree. The program will accept approximately two new trainees annually, giving a total of approximately four trainees in the program at any time.
The relevance of this training program lies in the increasing threat to public health posed by emerging and re-emerging infections, as exemplified by community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, extensively-drug-resistant tuberculosis, E. coli 0157:H7 outbreaks, and pandemic and avian influenza. This has created a need for additional expert clinical researchers who can discover the causes of, and find remedies for these growing threats.
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