This is an application for continuation of the Biodefense Training Program, which prepares 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. With the current and recent construction of many new BSL3 and BSL4 laboratories on academic campuses and at government facilities, there is an acute need for more scientists to work safely at high containment in biodefense research. UTMB is particularly well qualified to train these scientists by virtue of its unique, state-of-the-art, high containment facilities, major biodefense research programs, highly developed biocontainment training program, and outstanding faculty who study most of the major potential bioweapons. The research topics within the UTMB biodefense and emerging infectious disease portfolio are also unusually strong and diverse, ranging from vaccine development to diagnostics to antimicrobial development to pathogenesis, and the programs are highly collaborative, translational and interdisciplinary in nature. The Biodefense Training program includes PhD or MD/PhD students who are enrolled in four graduate programs: Experimental Pathology, Microbiology &Immunology, Biochemistry &Molecular Biology and Human Pathophysiology &Translational Medicine;four students are supported each year. Trainees are selected by an Executive Committee after completion of the qualifying exam and a formal application, and are supported for 1-2 years during their dissertation research. In addition to courses required by their respective programs, program trainees also enroll in elective classes specific to biodefense. Sixteen senior, well-funded faculty mentors participate in the program as preceptors, and enrichment activities include special seminar invitations, a Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal Club, and specialized courses to enhance the educational experience of the trainees as well as the cohesiveness of the program. Several program faculty with unique biodefense training opportunities but with limited mentoring experience are paired with senior co-mentors that will benefit both the student and the faculty member being mentored as a preceptor. A strong, multi-component program for recruiting underrepresented minority trainees will be further augmented to help develop a biodefense workforce that mirrors the national population.
Many microbes under study at UTMB are potential biological weapons as well naturally emerging pathogens. To protect the US from acts of biological warfare or terrorism, as well as from disease emergence, improved diagnostics, treatments and vaccines are needed. This program that capitalizes on UTMB's unique high containment facilities and biosafety educational programs will train doctoral students to become productive, independent, researchers who will form the next generation of biodefense scientists.
|Huang, Cheng; Walker, Aida G; Grant, Ashley M et al. (2014) Potent inhibition of Junín virus infection by interferon in murine cells. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8:e2933|
|Plante, Jessica A; Burkhalter, Kristen L; Mann, Brian R et al. (2014) Co-circulation of West Nile virus variants, Arizona, USA, 2010. Emerg Infect Dis 20:272-5|
|Lander, Heather M; Grant, Ashley M; Albrecht, Thomas et al. (2014) Endothelial cell permeability and adherens junction disruption induced by junín virus infection. Am J Trop Med Hyg 90:993-1002|
|Kim, Dal Young; Atasheva, Svetlana; McAuley, Alexander J et al. (2014) Enhancement of protein expression by alphavirus replicons by designing self-replicating subgenomic RNAs. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:10708-13|
|Schuh, Amy J; Ward, Melissa J; Leigh Brown, Andrew J et al. (2014) Dynamics of the emergence and establishment of a newly dominant genotype of Japanese encephalitis virus throughout Asia. J Virol 88:4522-32|
|Shelite, Thomas R; Saito, Tais B; Mendell, Nicole L et al. (2014) Hematogenously disseminated Orientia tsutsugamushi-infected murine model of scrub typhus [corrected]. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8:e2966|
|Beck, Andrew; Tesh, Robert B; Wood, Thomas G et al. (2014) Comparison of the live attenuated yellow fever vaccine 17D-204 strain to its virulent parental strain Asibi by deep sequencing. J Infect Dis 209:334-44|
|Murakami, Shin; Terasaki, Kaori; Ramirez, Sydney I et al. (2014) Development of a novel, single-cycle replicable rift valley Fever vaccine. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8:e2746|
|Peña, José; Plante, Jessica A; Carillo, Alda Celena et al. (2014) Multiplexed digital mRNA profiling of the inflammatory response in the West Nile Swiss Webster mouse model. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8:e3216|
|Schuh, Amy J; Ward, Melissa J; Brown, Andrew J Leigh et al. (2013) Phylogeography of Japanese encephalitis virus: genotype is associated with climate. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7:e2411|
Showing the most recent 10 out of 46 publications