This application requests continued support for an interdepartmental training program in Infectious Diseases and Inflammatory Disorders. It is designed to foster the interests of outstanding medical students in biomedical research. During the current funding period (2009-2013), this program has offered training opportunities for a total of 32 trainees, leading to publication/submission of 10 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 14 poster awards at national/regional scientific meetings. Importantly, this enrichment program combines the faculty's innovative research expertise with unique institutional strengths for the education o medical students. Hands-on training will be provided by 18 faculty members from six basic science and clinical departments at UTMB. The research themes will be centered on infections and inflammation, especially on transmission of pathogens, regulation of host inflammatory responses at the sites of pathogen entry (airway, skin, and mucosa), regulation of leukocyte migration in the blood, liver and other organs, and vaccine/drug development for the control of pathogens and tissue damage. Trainees (9 per year, 45 in total) will devote full-time participation during a ten-week research period and will gain an in-depth knowledge of biological concepts, modern research areas and tools. They will have the opportunity to choose basic, clinical, translational, or behavior research projects. The program will match talented medical students with NIH-funded faculty mentors, coupling the daily experience with an ongoing series of courses, summer research seminars, research-in-progress discussions, oral presentations, and monitoring from faculty members. The specific objectives are 1) to expose medical students early in their career to the excitement and technology of medical research and to foster their investigative and analytical skills;2) to encourage medical students to pursue a career in basic and clinical research in the areas of infectious diseases and inflammatory disorders;and 3) to provide valuable experience and references for students who wish to seek additional research training and funding in the future. An adequate tracking system is in place for monitoring the career development of trainees and the continued success of this training program. Our ultimate goal is to promote the professional development for our medical students, enhancing their skills in research, oral/written presentations and leaderships.
This program will provide short-term, hands-on training for medical students in the area of infectious diseases and inflammatory disorders. It is designed to foster the interests of outstanding medical students in biomedical research and has successful outcomes in the first round of the funding period.
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