The goal of this program at Washington University is to provide high quality training in the immunologic investigation of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. The main focus of our program is to identify basic immunological mechanisms mediating these diseases. Now in its 34th year, the program has in place a research training environment conducive to nurturing young scientists as primarily evidenced by the large number of prominent investigators who have trained in our program. Also, the success of our more recent trainees is noteworthy. The research experience for trainees occurs under the direction of highly trained faculty representing multiple pertinent areas relevant to the modern day immunobiology. This includes animal models, autoimmunity, innate immunity (complement system, macrophages, natural killer cells), antigen processing and the MHC, immunoregulation and receptor signaling in lymphocyte development. Through predominantly bench investigations in a mentor's laboratory, a trainee explores the mechanisms driving human and mouse immunoinflammatory responses.
An aim of these studies (and one that our long productive history demonstrates) is to make discoveries that provide insights relative to the immunopathologic basis of rheumatic diseases. Training faculty include primarily members of the Rheumatology Division in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics and of the Pathology and Immunology Department. The Program Faculty consists of predominantly physician-scientists with strong backgrounds in immunology who are dedicated to and enthusiastic about training the next generation. Trainees attend informative and topical seminars and conferences that are devoted to clinical and translational aspects of Rheumatology. This aspect of the training program provides exposure to current clinical issues and points out opportunities for new research directions. This program has a particularly distinguished track record of training young scientists for careers in academia, biotechnology and research administration. Our plan focuses on producing exceptionally talented and dedicated researchers to investigate the immunologic basis of the rheumatic diseases.
Aberrant inflammatory and immune responses are prominent features of rheumatic diseases. The etiopathogenesis of these tissue-destructive processes is largely unknown. The goal of this proposal is to provide a training environment whereby the next generation of physician-scientists and immunologists can become adept in the investigation of these illnesses. The hope is that they will make discoveries that lead to cures for these diseases.
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