This renewal application seeks five years of continued funding for a training program in Basic Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (BMID) to support 5 predoctoral trainees with the aim of producing independent and well-trained scientists for productive careers centered around microbiology and infectious disease. This program has been active at the University of Florida for 35 years. The program is comprised of 14 faculty preceptors from 6 departments (Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine, Oral Biology, Pathology, Immunology & Laboratory Medicine, and Cellular & Molecular Therapy) spanning two Colleges (Medicine and Dentistry). The program faculty include bacteriologists (Burne, Progulske-Fox, Southwick, and Wang), virologists (Bloom, Goodenow, Herzog, Karst, Lewin, McFadden, Muzyczka, Renne, and Tibbetts). The program faculty have expertise in genetics, cell biology, pathogenesis, immunology and molecular biology. The program faculty also include clinician scientists as preceptors (Southwick and Wang) and is enriched by a strong collaboration with the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine, thus reinforcing the clinical relevance and application of microbiology and infectious disease. Predoctoral trainees are recruited, and initially trained, in collaboration with the College of Medicine's Interdisciplinary Program in biomedical Sciences (IDP). The pool of trainee candidates averages 35 per year, they come from throughout the US, and have average combined verbal and quantitative GRE scores of 1249 (old exam) or 311 (new exam) and GPAs of 3.4. The IDP provides comprehensive classroom training, an introductory laboratory, laboratory rotations, and advanced course work in specialized disciplines. Subsequent training by this training program focuses on independent laboratory research supplemented with program- specific activities stressing communications and career-enhancement skills. Predoctoral training requires a total of approximately 5.3 years. This training program provides a strong interdisciplinary infrastructure for enhancing the training of scientists in the area of infectious disease. The overriding goal of this program is to provide exceptional training in the molecular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of disease to prepare our trainees to excell in future careers in both traditional research as well as non-academic careers in science.
Infectious disease is a pervasive problem in human heath. The continuing goal of this training program in Basic Microbiology and Infectious Disease is to provide exceptional training in the mechanisms of infectious disease that bridges the gap between basic and clinical science.
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