This is the second competing renewal of a training program to provide high quality pre- and postdoctoral training in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis to the most qualified candidates. The faculty in the graduate Program in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis (IMP) have the expertise required to provide the foundation that is critical for outstanding predoctoral and postdoctoral training. Many of the participating faculty have extensive training records, in some cases initiated at their former institutions prior to their recruitment to Emory. The areas of research represented by this program have outstanding potential for future investigations and for providing new insights into disease pathogenesis. The research programs of the faculty fall into three main training areas: 1) pathogenesis of infectious diseases;2) molecular virology;and 3) immunobiology. The faculty of IMP are members of six basic science or clinical departments in the School of Medicine, as well as Yerkes National Primate Center, the Biology Department of Emory College, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During the previous ten years of this training program, this grant has provided support for 48 predoctoral and 13 postdoctoral trainees. Two of the postdoctoral trainees are currently independent investigators (LaJolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology;UCSF) and two others have already received individual training awards to complete their postdoctoral work. Of the 48 predoctoral trainees, 27 are still in predoctoral training. Twenty students have received their Ph.D.s of which 1 is an Assistant Professor, 1 is a CDC staff scientist, 15 and are currently postdoctoral fellows. Of these 48 students supported by the training grant only one has left the program (a nearly 100% retention rate), which is better than the IMP program overall. Therefore this training grant has improved immunology and virology training at Emory, supporting not only our most outstanding students and postdocs, but enriching the intellectual environment by funding external speakers in the Program seminar series.
The relevance for this training program includes the importance of interdisciplinary training in providing the foundation for investigating mechanisms of pathogenesis and the extensive previous involvement of the participating faculty in pre- and postdoctoral training. The availability of funds from this training grant has had a profound positive effect on immunology and virology training at Emory University.
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