This is a new training program in Autoimmunity and Immunopathology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. We believe that research in autoimmunity and immunopathology provides challenging and exciting opportunities for young scientists. Adequate training requires intense exposure to contemporary concepts in immunology and clinical aspects of immunopathology. The goal of this proposed training program in autoimmunity and immunopathology is to produce outstanding trainees (four predoctoral and three postdoctoral) with the ability to perform interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research. We will build on the existing strengths in translational research here at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition, new recruits to the University of Pittsburgh with expertise in the area of autoimmunity research mean that there is now a critical mass of investigators to provide this much needed training program. Several of our faculty are engaged in preclinical studies which are then tested in the clinic. We will achieve this by bringing together faculty and trainees performing research related to autoimmunity and immunopathology (immunology, cell biology, molecular genetics and clinical rheumatology). The proposed program is within the framework of a large. Interdisciplinary Biomedical Graduate Program (IBGP) based in the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine that encourages interactions among several disciplines and that enables trainees to master different fields of contemporary biology. The proposed program also draws from the established Immunology (IMM) Graduate Program and additional faculty in several University of Pittsburgh clinical departments, including the Arthritis Institute. The IMM graduate programs consist of faculty from several departments in the School of Medicine, and together with the specialized training provided by the Arthritis Institute, offer a comprehensive range of formal introductory and specialized courses that will afford unified training in autoimmunity and immunopathology. This proposed training program is enabled and supported by faculty with strong records as trainers in autoimmunity, immunopathology and related areas of research, recently- expanded facilities, and strong Institutional support at the University of Pittsburgh.
The increasing incidence of autoimmune and immunopathological conditions coupled with a lack of effective therapies for many of these diseases highlights the need to recruit young scientists to choose a career in investigating these diseases. This program will also address the national shortage of physician-scientists entering the field of rheumatology and related disciplines.
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