This is a new application to establish a biodefense training program to produce predoctoral trainees who will aid the nation in combating the new challenges of the bioterror threat. The program has a faculty of 19, drawn from the Genetics, Immunology and Molecular Microbiology Graduate Programs of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences of Tufts University School of Medicine and New England Medical Center Hospitals. Focused training in the pathogenesis and genetics of microorganisms that are relevant to biodefense will be integrated with training in understanding host responses to these microorganisms. In this way, our trainees will be prepared to attack biodefense-related problems with an in-depth understanding of pathogen-host interaction. A newly developed curriculum integrates courses offered by Genetics, Immunology and Molecular Microbiology. In addition, a newly-developed course presents the pathogenesis of the most potent biological agents together with scientific, medical, social, and political issues relevant to bioterrorism and biowarfare. The Biodefense Training Program also interfaces with the newly conceived Study Center for the Immunogenetics of Infectious Disease (SCIID), an organization that focuses on genetic, immunological and microbiological aspects of infectious disease. The SCIID will be located in the newly constructed Jaharis Family Center, and will provide an intellectual and physical home for our trainees. This Center will also give students the opportunity to work at the BL-3 level of containment, use gene array technology to study host and pathogen gene expression, and have access to BL-3-level cell sorting. Predoctoral students enrolled in the Genetics, Immunology or Molecular Microbiology Graduate Programs may apply to enter the Biodefense Training Program after their first year of graduate school. Selection for our program will be based on high achievement in lab rotations and coursework during the first year, selection of one of the Biodefense Training Program faculty as a thesis mentor, and commitment to work on a dissertation topic relevant to biodefense concerns. Three students will be selected for two years of support (six positions). Benefits of our program include: 1) students are already enrolled who are working on biodefense related issues; 2) a highly experienced training faculty is in place; 3) a strong curriculum already exists; and 4) development of the SCIID shows institutional commitment to this program and provides an outstanding training setting. ? ? PARTICIPATING FACULTY: The 19 training faculty include 11 professors, 3 associate professors, and 5 assistant professors. Six of the training faculty are women. Fourteen of the training faculty have primary appointments at Tufts University and five training faculty are located at the New England Medical Center Hospital. The primary areas of research include genetics, immunology and molecular microbiology. ? ?
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