For the past two decades, medical advances have prolonged the lives of many patients with formerly debilitating or fatal diseases, but this decrease in mortality often comes at the expense of a healthy immune system. Consequently, the incidence of opportunistic life-threatening fungal infections continues to increase. The concomitant development and wide use of new antifungals have improved the prognosis for many patients, but they have also fostered the emergence of new and more resistant pathogenic fungi. To block this seemingly inexorable process, it is essential to recruit and train young scientists to develop rigorous independent careers focused on mycological research. The same situation pertains to fungal plant pathogens, which persist in causing global devastation of crops, reducing the food supply of most of the population. During this same period, there have been profound discoveries and progress in the biomedical sciences and biotechnology. Many of these advances were facilitated by the use of fungi as models for eukaryotic processes. The new sciences of genomics and bioinformatics have enhanced the impact of fungal systems and increased the demand for scientists who are adept at exploiting model fungi. This proposal establishes a multidisciplinary, tri-institutional Molecular Mycology and Pathogenesis Training Program (MMPTP) to recruit, support, and train promising postdoctoral scientists and physicians to develop productive research careers in molecular mycology and pathogenesis. These trainees will become the future experts and leaders in all areas of fungal research in academia, industry, and government. Candidates for training will include recent recipients of doctoral degrees in biomedical sciences, physicians who have completed residency training, and interested applicants with doctoral degrees in other fields (e.g., Plant Pathology, Population Genetics, Bioinformatics, Pharmacology). The participating faculty are unified in their focus on fungi, and the participating institutions represent arguably the highest concentration of researchers who study fungi. They have developed a rich community that shares resources, interacts regularly, and collaborates frequently.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Research Review Committee (AIDS)
Program Officer
Mcsweegan, Edward
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Duke University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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