This proposal requests support for Years 11-15 of the T32 Training Program in Microbial Pathogenesis, a highly successful program that incorporates researchers from seven departments in the School of Medicine and the Department of Biology at University of Utah. This program was initially an outgrowth of the twice- monthly Microbial Pathogenesis Seminar Series (MPSS), which brought together basic scientists and clinician scientists in Microbiology and Immunology for regular, highly engaged research presentations. Since its inception 10 years ago, the Training Program has sponsored 3 predoctoral and 3 postdoctoral trainees. Predoctoral trainees enter graduate school primarily through the Molecular Biology umbrella program, where they are supported for one year while taking rigorous core courses and selecting a thesis laboratory. Both predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees are selected after entering a laboratory associated with a T32 mentor. The Training Program provides many opportunities for exposure of the trainees and the broader community to cutting edge research and interactions including: the MPSS, the Microbial Pathogenesis Retreat, the Summer Journal Club, the Clinical-Microbiology Combined Conference, and advanced courses in Bacterial Pathogenesis, Viral Pathogenesis, and Immunology. Critical to the training environment are trainee opportunities for interaction with MPSS speakers with a variety of research and health perspectives, and the opportunity to host distinguished speakers. Each of the trainees also present their research at the Training Grant Retreat, providing them with an opportunity for exposure to the greater microbial pathogenesis community on campus and to receive feedback from the external scientists. Trainees also present important new discoveries in the Summer Journal Club. Newly initiated in 2013, is a Clinical-Microbiology Combined Conference with the Infectious Disease Fellows in Medicine, with the goal of highlighting the clinical manifestation of infectious diseases with mechanistic understanding of microbial virulence factors. Trainees have established a record of high impact publications and are pursuing careers in areas of biomedical research and teaching. The various components of the Training Program clearly serve as the nexus of Microbial Pathogenesis on this campus, enhancing the environment of the supported trainees as well as the entire biomedical community.
Microbial Pathogenesis lies at the cross roads of Microbiology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, and Host Defense. The Microbial Pathogenesis Training Program serves as a platform for integrated training of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees by bringing together basic scientists and clinician scientists for the exchange of ideas and enhancement of research goals and training at the University of Utah.
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