We are seeking support to train graduate students over a five year period in the area of host-pathogen interactions. Seventeen investigators in 5 colleges at the University of Maryland whose primary research interest pertains to host-pathogen interactions have come together to form a research cluster in the newly- formed BISI graduate program in the College of Chemical and Life Sciences. The devastating effects of infectious diseases caused by pathogens such as tuberculosis, meningitis, leishmaniasis, influenza and other parasitic infections, etc. are well known, and efforts to understand the mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis are easily justified from a world health perspective. The importance of microbial pathogens extends well beyond the diseases they cause, because studying their pathogenesis will lead to new insights in immunology and cellular biology. Thus, this is an excellent area for graduate student training. This training proposal seeks support for a unique training program that will immerse students in interdisciplinary research, striving to integrate advances in genomics, immunology, and microbial pathogenesis with our rapidly expanding understanding of host-pathogen interactions. The goal of this program is to train graduate students in basic cell and molecular biology of host-pathogen interactions, with an eye to developing translational approaches to improve health.
Pathogens infect nearly all life forms and many have the potential to cause world-wide pandemics. This training proposal seeks support to train predoctoral students to meet the research challenges that these diseases are likely to create. The diverse faculty will bring a variety of expertise to bear on problems that are common to studying host-pathogen interactions. This program includes developing strategies to protect humans and animals to improve the quality of people's lives.
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