We propose a new training program in Human and Translational Immunology at the Yale School of Medicine. There has been extraordinary growth in immunobiology the past 3 decades that has transformed clinical medicine. To a large extent, this growth is the result of the availability of experimental models, particularly inbred strains of mice, in which experimental methods have been well developed and genetic modifications can be exploited to address hypotheses. However, the studies in rodent models alone are not sufficient for understanding human immunobiology and the disturbances or manipulations of human immune responses that occur with disease and treatments. There are many differences between murine and human immune responses that are important to understand so that new scientific developments can be applied to the treatment of patients. Importantly, there is a shortage of investigators that have both the scientific and clinical backgrounds to enable them to bridge the gap between basic immunologic discoveries and the application to clinical medicine. This program is designed to provide training to develop leaders who can fill that void. It differs from traditional training programs in Immunobiology and clinical specialties in its emphasis on the application of basic immunologic discoveries to the clinical setting. The faculty include outstanding translational scientists who study disease relevant mechanisms in patients and/or in murine models of human disease when human tissues are not available. The trainees will include post-doctoral candidates from clinical or graduate training programs who desire intensive training in Human Translational Immunobiology in order to develop a career in investigative medicine. The program is administered through the Department of Immunobiology but the faculty are members of several departments - clinical and basic science, in the Medical School. The training curriculum involves didactic instruction and experience in studies with human cells and tissues, clinical research methods, and the responsible conduct of research. The research experience includes training in one or more of 7 thematic areas that cover a broad spectrum of human diseases and technologies from genetics, cellular immunology, to the use of nanoparticles.
There have been breakthroughs in basic immunology that have the potential to lead to new therapies for many human conditions. There is a shortfall of clinical scientists able to translate these developments to patients. This proposed program will train such individuals. Postdoctoral fellows, with a commitment to translational research will receive intense training in immunology of human disease and therapies.
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