This Training Grant, now entering its 31st year, provides support for a unique interdisciplinary pre-doctoral training program in Immunology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The Training Grant is the core source of funding for the Immunology Training Program. The mission of this interdepartmental program is to provide students with training in cellular, biochemical, and genetic approaches to the biology of the immune response. We seek to provide trainees with the ability to identify significant research questions in immunology, to find solutions to these questions, to think broadly and creatively about biological problems, and to communicate ideas effectively to others. There are 38 faculty members who participate in the program and provide a broad range of training opportunities for trainees. These areas include genetic and cellular aspects of immune development, antigen recognition, immune regulation, tolerance, structural biology of immune proteins, innate immunity, autoimmunity, immune cell signaling, cancer immunology, IgE-mediated immunologic reactions and the host response to infection. In these areas, the training environment is enhanced by institutional strength in relevant areas of basic science and/or clinical medicine. Cross-fertilization between basic research and clinical disease studies is an important aspect of the training environment. The pre-doctoral program places emphasis on rigorous training in basic biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology in addition to immunology. Progress of trainees throughout the didactic and research progress is monitored closely through multiple mechanisms. An extensive and successful program for recruiting minority students has been implemented.
Immune-mediated mechanisms are involved in a striking variety of human diseases, both common and rare. Diseases that involve the immune system affect up to 20% of North Americans, Europeans and Japanese. The goal of the Immunology Training Program is to train the next generation of Immunologists who, through active scholarship contribute to the generation of new knowledge on the basic mechanisms of the immune system and the application of this knowledge to the understanding and treatment of disease.
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