In this application, we request support for six students each year in our pre-doctoral training program in the Department of Immunology at the University of Washington, with Dr. Pamela Fink as Program Director, and Dr. Michael Bevan as Co-Director. This new application reflects the long history of our department, dating back to its inception in 1989, with founding members derived from backgrounds in biochemistry, molecular biology, infectious disease research, and basic immunology. Our department faculty has grown to include specialists in basic research as well as clinicians who study and treat human infectious diseases, autoimmunity, and immunodeficiencies. Our training program combines didactic coursework with student-led discussion groups and rigorous qualifying and general exams, with the goal of developing the next generation of scientists who think, write, and speak clearly about the key scientific questions and how to solve them. Our students are recruited from our own Immunology graduate program, from the UW Molecular and Cellular Biology graduate program, and from the Medical Scientist Training Program. These students benefit from the rich, diverse, and interactive Immunology community at UW and its affiliated institutions. Our pre-doctoral training program incorporates unique elements that will enrich the graduate student experience for supported trainees. These include opportunities to attend specific national meetings annually, formal evaluation of trainees'scientific presentations and progress by a committee composed of members of our training faculty, and dedicated interactions with selected Immunology seminar speakers. An External Advisory Committee will provide ongoing evaluation of the program. Building on 25 consecutive years of NIH T32 support, this application refocuses our training program to draw on the strengths of our departmental research at the interface of innate and adaptive immunity, with an emphasis on allergy, autoimmunity, and infectious disease.
This is a new application seeking support for a well-established pre-doctoral training program at the University of Washington in basic immunology whose overall goal is to train the next generation of scientists to apply immunological knowledge to improve human health.
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