The Biodefense Training Program is designed to prepare doctoral students for careers in a variety of research disciplines critical to protecting the US and other parts of the world from bioweapons and naturally emerging, highly pathogenic bacteria and viruses. The University of Texas Medical Branch is well qualified to provide this training by virtue of its state-of-the-art high containment facilities, major biodefense research programs, and outstanding faculty who study most of the major bioweapons. The research topics within the University of Texas Medical Branch biodefense portfolio are also unusually diverse, ranging from vaccine development to diagnostics to antimicrobial development to pathogenesis, and the programs are highly collaborative and interdisciplinary. The training program will focus on PhD students who are enrolled in three graduate programs: experimental pathology, microbiology and immunology, and biochemistry and molecular biology. Trainees will be selected by a committee after completion of the qualifying exam and will be supported for one to two years during their dissertation research. Fifteen senior, highly experienced faculty mentors will participate in the program, along with an additional 18 associate program faculty including both persons who provide specialized expertise and training, and junior faculty who will be eligible to mentor students with a Primary Faculty co-mentor. This latter arrangement is designed to develop junior faculty into effective graduate student mentors under the tutelage of experienced and accomplished senior faculty. Support for four trainees is requested.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases B Subcommittee (MID)
Program Officer
Mcsweegan, Edward
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Texas Medical Br Galveston
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Nusbaum, Rebecca J; Calderon, Veronica E; Huante, Matthew B et al. (2016) Pulmonary Tuberculosis in Humanized Mice Infected with HIV-1. Sci Rep 6:21522
Sha, Jian; Kirtley, Michelle L; Klages, Curtis et al. (2016) A Replication-Defective Human Type 5 Adenovirus-Based Trivalent Vaccine Confers Complete Protection against Plague in Mice and Nonhuman Primates. Clin Vaccine Immunol 23:586-600
Koma, Takaaki; Patterson, Michael; Huang, Cheng et al. (2016) Machupo Virus Expressing GPC of the Candid#1 Vaccine Strain of Junin Virus Is Highly Attenuated and Immunogenic. J Virol 90:1290-7
Fitts, Eric C; Andersson, Jourdan A; Kirtley, Michelle L et al. (2016) New Insights into Autoinducer-2 Signaling as a Virulence Regulator in a Mouse Model of Pneumonic Plague. mSphere 1:
Bechelli, Jeremy; Smalley, Claire; Zhao, Xuemei et al. (2016) MyD88 Mediates Instructive Signaling in Dendritic Cells and Protective Inflammatory Response during Rickettsial Infection. Infect Immun 84:883-93
Agrawal, Anurodh Shankar; Ying, Tianlei; Tao, Xinrong et al. (2016) Passive Transfer of A Germline-like Neutralizing Human Monoclonal Antibody Protects Transgenic Mice Against Lethal Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection. Sci Rep 6:31629
Plante, Jessica A; Torres, Maricela; Huang, Claire Y-H et al. (2016) Plasticity of a critical antigenic determinant in the West Nile virus NY99 envelope protein domain III. Virology 496:97-105
Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Kozlova, Elena V; Sha, Jian et al. (2016) Cross-talk among flesh-eating Aeromonas hydrophila strains in mixed infection leading to necrotizing fasciitis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113:722-7
Andersson, Jourdan A; Fitts, Eric C; Kirtley, Michelle L et al. (2016) New Role for FDA-Approved Drugs in Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 60:3717-29
Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Fitts, Eric C; Sha, Jian et al. (2015) High-throughput, signature-tagged mutagenic approach to identify novel virulence factors of Yersinia pestis CO92 in a mouse model of infection. Infect Immun 83:2065-81

Showing the most recent 10 out of 73 publications