The Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington has trained 137 physician-scientists through continuous funding provided by this training grant since its inception in 1976. About 80% of these trainees remain in research positions. Many have achieved leadership positions such as six that became Deans or Associate Deans of Medicine, one that became a Department Chair, nine that became Division Heads, 37 full professors and 10 others with leadership positions. Trainees that have finished in the past 10 years have had remarkable early success in research careers, including >50% achieving research funding, >25% with K awards, and >90% publishing one or more papers related to their supported research. The continuing objective of the program is to provide post-doctoral training for physician-scientists committed to a research career in infectious diseases. Eight postdoctoral training stipends per year are requested; the same number as in the previous funding period. There are currently 46 participating mentors with $295 million annual direct research funding and outstanding mentorship records. Each trainee selects a mentor (or more than one) for detailed research training in one of six research tracks. All trainees complete a core curriculum consisting of required didactic, research and clinical activities. Many trainees elect to take course work at the University of Washington and an average of three a year seek a MPH or MS degree. The program generally requires three years of training, one clinical year supported by the hospitals, and two research years supported by this training grant.

Public Health Relevance

Infectious diseases continue to extract a considerable social and financial toll even in developed countries due to factors such as emerging pathogens, AIDS or other immuno-compromising conditions and antimicrobial resistance; in fact, they represent the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The training of new scientists-physicians who can elucidate the basic mechanisms of host defense is critical for the formulation of new and improved strategies to diagnose, treat and prevent infectious diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research Committee (AITC)
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Coomes, Stephanie
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University of Washington
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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