The Immunology and Inflammation training program at NYU School of Medicine will fill an important gap in pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training at the interface between basic immunology and human disease. The intent of the Immunology and Inflammation training program at NYU SoM is to provide training in this rapidly evolving research field. Specifically, the Immunology and Inflammation program aims to train students and postdoctoral fellows in the field of basic immunology research, particularly mechanisms and pathways of host anti-microbial protection that, when activated in an inappropriate manner via either genetic or environmental perturbations, result in inflammatory diseases. A long-term goal of the program is to train a new cadre of researchers in the broad and interdisciplinary area of basic immunology and its relation to inflammatory processes. This knowledge may result in a better understanding of the causes of inflammatory disorders and in the discovery and development of new therapeutic approaches. The training program will have 28 faculty who are highly productive scientists with extensive mentoring experience (they have mentored a total of 282 trainees in the last ten years (103 pre-doctoral and 179 postdoctoral)). The faculty mentors all share a common interest in understanding basic immunological mechanisms and how the distortion and dysregulation of these mechanisms by genetic and environmental factors, such as the microbiome, leads to disease such as metabolic diseases, atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases and chronic infection. We propose a program with 4 pre-doctoral positions and 4 post-doctoral positions focused on training scientists in the study of immunology and inflammation that will complement the 15 existing training programs at NYUSoM. The Immunology and Inflammation program will provide intellectually demanding pre- and postdoctoral training in a highly interactive scientific environment providing rigorous courses, tutorials, and seminars in a broad training environment that encourages diversity. Multi-tiered mentoring plans will allow monitoring of research progress. Trainees will also acquire the ability to critically evaluate scientific data and literature and will develop their writing and presentatin skills. Training of students will include rigorous courses in Immunology, Genetics, Microbiology, Molecular Oncology, Stem Cells and Parasitology. All trainees will participate in the immunology seminar series, an annual retreat, journal clubs and discussion groups as well as lectures focusing on ethical conduct in science and career options. Funds are requested to support 4 pre-doctoral and 4 post-doctoral trainees. These trainees will represent a new generation of scientists who can contribute to the development of novel therapies to treat inflammatory diseases.
Inflammation is a basic immunological mechanism that helps to protect the host from injury and infection under normal physiological conditions. Research conducted over the last 15 years has shown that chronic inflammation is a pervasive component in many human diseases; and yet the basic mechanisms underlying inflammatory processes and how they lead to disease remain largely unknown. The need to recruit and train a new generation of the brightest scientists to the study of immunology and inflammation will directly impact on our understanding of numerous diseases of public health import in which inflammation drives dysfunction of the immune system.
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