Infectious diseases remain the leading cause of death worldwide and rank third in the United States behind only heart disease and malignant neoplasms. In addition, recent bioterrorism events both here and abroad, have highlighted our need for researchers trained in microbiology and immunology. A sustained effort against the threats of infectious illness and bioterrorism require two major components: 1) a multidisciplinary approach combining epidemiology, basic studies of the molecular and cellular basis of pathogenesis, a thorough understanding of host immune response, and practical research on drug and vaccine development; and 2) a steady supply of well-trained new investigators. This training program addresses these needs and is well suited to provide these resources. Our objective is to train pre-doctoral students in the field of immunity and infection. At the University of Maryland, Baltimore, which has a rich history of infectious diseases and immunology research, we have assembled an outstanding training and resource faculty from seven participating units. All faculty hold primary or secondary appointments in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. We will continue to use the framework of a strong and established graduate doctoral program that includes a strong core curriculum in bacteriology, virology, parasitology, and immunology, elective courses, journal clubs, seminars, annual symposia, and research presentation day. Academic work will be combined with rigorous laboratory training through laboratory rotations and dissertation research under the direction of the Training Program faculty. Students are selected from a highly qualified and stable applicant pool and are trained in the responsible conduct of research. Specific efforts are in place to recruit trainees from underrepresented minorities. The program is guided by a well-qualified training program director and Steering Committee of internationally recognized scientists. ? ? PARTICIPATING FACULTY: The 44 training faculty include 24 professors, 10 associate professors, and 10 assistant professors. 8 of the training faculty are women. All of the faculty are at the University of Maryland. The majority of the faculty have currently active funding on which they are the Principal Investigator. The primary areas of research include: bacteriology, immunology, parasitology, virology, and cell biology. There is good evidence of collaboration among the faculty, including joint publications. The program faculty have varying degrees of experience as mentors to predoctoral students. ? ? FELLOWS: This training program is requesting support for six predoctoral students in year one, seven in year two, and eight in years three through five. Trainees are selected by the Steering Committee from the Graduate Program in Microbiology and Immunology and must have passed their qualifying exams. Prior trainees have been supported for a period of two years by this training grant. ? ? RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT: The resources available to the training faculty are outstanding. Extramural support is primarily NIH funding. The research environment at The University of Maryland is collaborative. ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Research Review Committee (AIDS)
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Mcsweegan, Edward
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University of Maryland Baltimore
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United States
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