Emory University is uniquely positioned to train a cadre of scientists with expertise in multi-disciplinary approaches to vaccines. The faculty preceptors for the Emory Interdisciplinary Vaccinology Training Program (IVTP) have the breadth of expertise and mentoring experience that is critical for training a new generation of Vaccinologists. They are affiliated with several colleges and research facilities at Emory, including the Emory School of Medicine, the Rollins School of Public Health, the Emory Vaccine Center and the joint Emory-Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech) Biomedical Engineering Department at Emory. Faculty have extensive training experience and also represent several disciplines, including microbiology and immunology, rheumatology, infectious diseases, obstetrics/gynecology, pathology, pediatrics, epidemiology, global health, and health policy. The proposed IVTP will bridge these areas by bringing together trainees with diverse backgrounds to create an environment in which they will be exposed to and learn to interact with specialists engaged in all aspects of vaccine research. The IVTP will support four postdoctoral fellows (MD, PhD, or MD/PhD) to engage in full-time research training. Through formal and informal education, mentored research, and career mentoring, the IVTP trainees will acquire the skills and background necessary for their success as Vaccinology leaders in the future. Each IVTP trainee will select an in-depth research project from one of four Research Training Sections: 1) Pathogenesis &Vaccine Discovery;2) Innate &Adaptive Immune Responses to Bacterial, Protozoal, &Viral Antigens;3) Vaccine Epidemiology &Health Policy;and 4) Translation, Delivery &Clinical Trials. Each trainee will participate in the Masters of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) program, as well as two comprehensive graduate level courses emphasizing different aspects of the field of Vaccinology. The specific goals of the IVTP include: To inspire and attract outstanding post-doctoral trainees to pursue interdisciplinary training in preparation for independent vaccinology research careers; To integrate the strong basic science, translational research, and clinical trials programs at Emory into a multi-faceted training experience, producing a synergistic whole greater than the sum of its individual parts; To train MD and PhD scientists committed to careers in vaccine research to incorporate novel basic science tools into Vaccinology and public health; To provide each trainee with formal and informal vaccinology education, a mentoring team for his or her collaborative multidisciplinary research project, and vaccinology career mentoring.
This application responds to an urgent need to train a new generation of Vaccinologists. Vaccines have dramatically reduced the spread of infectious diseases, show great potential for preventing and controlling chronic conditions, and are highly cost-effective. However, to achieve the full potential of vaccines and address difficulties that have hindered progress, a new generation of well-prepared scientists is needed.
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