This is the competing continuation application (Years 16-20) for the Global Biothreats Training Program at the University of Virginia. Adequate responses to global biothreats require both understanding of the pathogen's virulence, life-style and spread, but also broader knowledge and awareness of policies, outbreak and threat surveillance, economics, national security, preparedness, and human rights. The Program is based on the mentors' shared belief that a multidisciplinary approach is required to train investigators to understand, and ultimately to treat and prevent global biothreat agents. The cornerstone is side-by-side education of predoctoral and M.D. postdoctoral fellows. The Program combines the expertise of 23 Mentors from 8 different departments, all but two within a 5- minute walking distance. All Mentors are extramurally supported through 2018, with $13.6 million total annual direct costs. The average mentor has trained > 10 pre- and/or postdoctoral students. Select junior mentors are included but are required to have a senior Program faculty as co-mentor. Training is enriched by state-of-the art BSL-3 and BSL-2 laboratory space, a twice-monthly ?Research in Progress? meetings, graduate courses focused on Biological Threats and Public Health, and Global Health Policy and Practice, an Annual Research Day, career development activities, an innovative basic-clinical Journal Club that pairs predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows. Evaluations of the Program an external advisory committee and annual trainee questionnaire. Funds are requested to train 2 predoctoral fellows and 1 postdoctoral fellow. The 10-year graduation rate for predoctoral trainees is 82%. First authored publications at graduation average 2.1 for predocs and 1.8 for postdocs, with high impact papers in Nature, Science, PLoS Path, Mol Microbiol, MBio, J. Immunol, and PNAS. After 15 years 95% of predocs and 81% of postdocs that have graduated from the Program remain active in science-related fields, and 68% are engaged in global biothreats-related activities. Seventeen percent of trainees supported in the last 10 years are underrepresented minorities.

Public Health Relevance

Outbreaks of infection diseases, whether natural or man-made, pose significant challenges to human health, biosecurity and emergency prepardeness. The Global Biothreats Training Program provides a rich interdisciplinary environment that promotes innovative science, and prepares predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees for careers in global biothreats research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases B Subcommittee (MID)
Program Officer
Coomes, Stephanie
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Virginia
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Steiner, Kevin L; Ahmed, Shahnawaz; Gilchrist, Carol A et al. (2018) Species of Cryptosporidia Causing Subclinical Infection Associated With Growth Faltering in Rural and Urban Bangladesh: A Birth Cohort Study. Clin Infect Dis 67:1347-1355
Moreau, G Brett; Qin, Aiping; Mann, Barbara J (2018) Zinc Acquisition Mechanisms Differ between Environmental and Virulent Francisella Species. J Bacteriol 200:
Sauder, Amber B; Kendall, Melissa M (2018) After the Fact(or): Posttranscriptional Gene Regulation in Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7. J Bacteriol 200:
Gilchrist, Carol A; Cotton, James A; Burkey, Cecelia et al. (2018) Genetic Diversity of Cryptosporidium hominis in a Bangladeshi Community as Revealed by Whole-Genome Sequencing. J Infect Dis 218:259-264
Margulieux, Katie R; Liebov, Benjamin K; Tirumala, Venkata S K K S et al. (2017) Bacillus anthracis Peptidoglycan Integrity Is Disrupted by the Chemokine CXCL10 through the FtsE/X Complex. Front Microbiol 8:740
Mathers, Amy J; Stoesser, Nicole; Chai, Weidong et al. (2017) Chromosomal Integration of the Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase Gene, blaKPC, in Klebsiella Species Is Elusive but Not Rare. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 61:
Gilmartin, Allissia A; Petri Jr, William A (2017) Exploring the mechanism of amebic trogocytosis: the role of amebic lysosomes. Microb Cell 5:1-3
Gilmartin, Allissia A; Ralston, Katherine S; Petri Jr, William A (2017) Inhibition of Amebic Lysosomal Acidification Blocks Amebic Trogocytosis and Cell Killing. MBio 8:
Luzader, Deborah H; Willsey, Graham G; Wargo, Matthew J et al. (2016) The Type Three Secretion System 2-Encoded Regulator EtrB Modulates Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Virulence Gene Expression. Infect Immun 84:2555-65
Korpe, Poonum S; Haque, Rashidul; Gilchrist, Carol et al. (2016) Natural History of Cryptosporidiosis in a Longitudinal Study of Slum-Dwelling Bangladeshi Children: Association with Severe Malnutrition. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 10:e0004564

Showing the most recent 10 out of 107 publications