The primary goal of the Mayo Graduate School Ph.D. Training Program in Immunology is to develop outstanding independent investigators to direct research programs in academia, industry, or government laboratories. Twenty-five predoctoral students are currently enrolled in the Immunology track of the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program. 17 well-funded investigators comprise the training faculty. Four additional immunologists are being actively recruited. Research programs targeting undergraduates and new college graduates have been developed to recruit outstanding graduate students among mainstream and under-represented minority candidates. The proposed Ph.D. training includes a rigorous didactic curriculum and emphasizes research training and communication skills. During the first two years, Immunology students develop strong fundamental knowledge in biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology and acquire advanced training in Immunology. Students complete a series of at least 3 laboratory rotations before selecting a laboratory for their thesis research. The student's second year is dedicated to developing a thesis project, culminating in a written proposal delineating the questions, significance, and approaches to be pursued in the thesis research. At the end of the second year, comprehensive written and oral qualifying exams are used to evaluate student progress and aptitude for a career in research. A committee of five faculty members meets with the student twice a year to mentor and supervise the student's progress. Publication of research findings in quality journals and presentation of this works at national meetings is emphasized. The average time to completion of the Ph.D. Program is approximately 5.3 years. Students are mentored to identify outstanding postdoctoral training opportunities. 80% of the 30 Ph.D. graduates from our program, who have now finished their fellowship training, are currently independent investigators in academia (60%) or industry (20%). Three of the remaining graduates are career scientists in established laboratories and two have transitioned from academic positions to clinical careers. The program continues to attract outstanding students with 6 new Mayo graduate students selecting the Immunology Ph.D. track in 2005. We request support for 4 training positions for the next funding period.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Allergy & Clinical Immunology-1 (AITC)
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Prograis, Lawrence J
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Mayo Clinic, Rochester
United States
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