The overall aim of the Northwestern University Allergy-Immunology Research (NUAIR) Program is to train postdoctoral scientists in translational research, here defined as research of disease mechanisms that includes investigations in human subjects or human samples. The NUAIR Program builds on our Allergy- Immunology Fellowship, which has a long history of excellence in clinical and academic training, and on the recent doubling of faculty members including 8 basic researchers since 2004. Together with established investigators from other Divisions and Departments, we have created a rich environment for translational research in the NUAIR program in which clinical and basic researchers, both faculty and trainees, collaborate and interact in weekly research and didactic activities. These collaborations have led to multidisciplinary translational research programs in several allergic diseases supported by well equipped laboratories and a large number of research cores and facilities. Under the NUAIR Program, an eventual steady state of 3 MD and/or PhD postgraduate trainees per year will start 2 years of research training. Each trainee will work together with a clinical research mentor and a basic research mentor to study pathogenic mechanisms of allergic and immunological diseases, including studies of human subjects or their samples. In addition to well structured research training and didactic activities, strong mentoring and close monitoring of trainees'performances based on milestones will ensure proper progress during training. Our retention plan includes support for trainees who remain in our Division as junior faculty members after 2 years of research training, while they seek external funding support. We also have programs to inspire medical students and residents to pursue careers in Allergy-Immunology. Taken together, our rapidly expanding and comprehensive Allergy-Immunology research environment will allow state-of-the-art research training to highly qualified MD and PhD postdoctoral trainees. These trainees will conduct collaborative translational research in Allergy-Immunology, initiating research careers that will help attenuate a severe national need for academic leaders in this field.
The Northwestern University Allergy-Immunology Research (NUAIR) Program will train physicians and basic researchers on translational research to advance our knowledge of mechanisms of asthma, allergic conditions and immunological diseases. This new knowledge will likely reveal novel targets for future development of new treatments, diagnostic tests and preventive approaches.
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