The Objectives of the UCSF Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Defense (MPHD) program are to provide world class training and research for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at UCSF by creating a coherent and cohesive community comprised of diverse world class laboratories studying all aspects of microbial pathogenesis. World-wide, infectious diseases are a leading cause of death. The study of microbial pathogenesis is a rapidly advancing area of research, with unprecedented opportunity to influence health worldwide through the development of new preventative, therapeutic, and diagnostic strategies. The MPHD program at UCSF offers a world class training program that currently is comprised of 27 faculty training 59 graduate students, and 128 postdoctoral fellows. 5 faculty members were newly recruited to UCSF to join the program in the past 6 years. Areas of active research include the pathogenesis of malaria, TB, shistosomiasis, HIV, fungal pathogens, and gram negative and gram positive infections. The MPHD program is designed to provide a solid background in genetics, cell biology, molecular biology, and mammalian tissue and organ biology as well as thorough training in microbial pathogenesis. The Interdisciplinary nature of this training is enhanced by the affiliation ofthe MPHD Program with the UCSF Biomedical Sciences Program (BMS) and Program in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS), interdisciplinary graduate programs through which graduate students enter the MPHD program. The MPHD training program includes (i) a weekly seminar series comprised of outside invited speakers, research-in-progress talks from students and postdocs in the program (ii) a graduate level course entitled "Molecular Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis" offered every other spring as an elective for grandate students that can be audited by postdoctoral fellows (iii) a yearly bay area wide day symposium with student, postdoc, and faculty speakers, an outside invited keynote speaker, and a poster session that is offered free of charge (iv) Microbial pathogenesis sessions at the two main yearly graduate program retreats (Biomedical Science Program and Program in Biological Sciences) (v) support for 4 graduate students and 2 postdocs through this T32 training grant (vii) a website with up to date information about the MPHD program and its activities as well as links to other relevant websites.
Infectious disease is a leading cause of death, despite availability of antibiotics, vaccines, and advanced hygienic standards. Strategies for the prevention, treatment, and control of infectious diseases will require fundamental bench and translational research. The study of microbial pathogenesis is a rapidly advancing area of research, with unprecedented opportunity to influence health worldwide.
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