This application is a resubmission for renewal of the Training Program in Microbial Pathogenesis at the University of Utah awarded in 2003. The first five years of this award successfully accomplished the goals of enhancing and promoting Microbial Pathogenesis at the University of Utah and providing new training opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. An integrated approach, involving laboratories from different departments and disciplines, has resulted in a high level of scientific exchange for the trainees. Faculty with foundations in microbiology, immunology and host responses, infectious disease/epidemiology, HIV biology, ecology of pathogen transmission, and genetics of susceptibility to pathogens, now interact on a regular basis at Training Grant-sponsored events. The first period of the award has resulted in: 1) the development of new courses in Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology;2) increased interaction of trainees with speakers at the Microbial Pathogenesis Seminar Series;3) formation of a new journal club in Microbial Pathogenesis;and 4) the initiation of an Annual Training Grant Retreat with trainee presentations and those of outside expert speakers. These programs have extended to the Microbial Pathogenesis community as a whole. This resubmission provides greater emphasis on plans for monitoring trainee success and program activities, and in preparing trainees for future careers in Microbial Pathogenesis. This included internal and external reviews, and formal feedback from trainees and mentors. We continue to emphasize the importance of scientifically rigorous publications, along with numerous opportunities for academic and career advice. Trainees are prepared to impact important areas of health and research including emerging infectious diseases, molecular genetics of host-pathogen interactions, molecular virology and epidemiology, and involvement of immune responses in host defense and pathological outcomes of infection. AH trainees who have left the Training Grant currently hold positions in research or academics. Based on the success of the first award, we are requesting continued support for 3 pre-doctoral and 3 postdoctoral trainees.
Microbial Pathogenesis as a discipline covers the critical interactions between infectious pathogens and the human or animal host. Understanding the molecular aspects of these interactions is important for many aspects of health related infectious disease research including molecular pathogenesis, vaccine development, therapeutic cures, and epidemiology. Trainees in our program have a broad exposure to these tonics and are trained as sophisticated investigators in this area.
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