This renewal application seeks support to train pre- and postdoctoral fellows and short-term graduate students in immunology and infectious diseases research at Indiana University School of Medicine. The Immunology and Infectious Disease Training Program's goal is to develop well-educated, diverse investigators capable of responding to the nation's health needs in the areas of infectious disease, immune deficiencies, autoimmunity, allergic diseases, and vaccines. Consistent with this national need, Indiana University has made a sustained commitment to training and research in these areas. This includes support for new initiatives in graduate and medical scientist training, and space and funding for centers focused on translational discoveries in immunology and microbial diseases, research on allergy and inflammation, and basic research on HIV. The current program offers students and fellows formal and applied training within an interactive, multi-disciplinary medical center environment. Program faculty are drawn from Microbiology and Immunology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medicine and Pediatrics. This multi-disciplinary program offers training in molecular and cellular biology, and opportunities to study patient samples and in vivo models of disease. Strengths of the program include the diversity of faculty research, solid track records of relevant, quality publications from mentors and trainees, and external research funding. Trainees benefit from the active, collaborative research environment within the program including opportunities for co-mentoring. Comprehensive training is offered through didactic courses including bioethics, research seminars and conferences, program-specific journal clubs, grant and career workshops, and hands-on faculty mentoring. Program funding is requested for 5 years to support 3 pre-doctoral and 3 postdoctoral fellows, and 3 short-term trainees per year. Program fellowship support is typically offered for two years. Fellowships are typically offered to 2nd year and beyond pre-doctoral students, while a mix of junior and senior postdoctoral fellows are supported. Short-term trainees are part of an initiative to transition students from under-represented groups to doctoral training and careers in academic research.
Discoveries in immunology and infectious diseases have been critical in understanding a number of diseases and in impacting other disciplines. Yet a pressing need remains for new means to thwart pathogen transmission, quell autoimmune diseases, treat cancer, and suppress allergic diseases. The development of a diverse workforce knowledgeable in these areas is critical, and remains key goal of this training program.
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