The Molecular Basis of Infectious Disease (MBID) research training program is centered on 16 faculty mentors from three Houston educational institutions: the University, of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Baylor College of Medicine, and the Texas A&M University Institute for Biosciences and Technology. In this renewal application, continued training support is requested for three Ph.D. students and eight undergraduate summer research students. The overall purpose of the MBID training program is to provide trainees 1) an optimal environment for training new scientists in the latest concepts and techniques in microbiological research;2) a better understanding of current challenges in clinical infectious diseases;and 3) the knowledge and tools to 'bridge the gap'between basic research and clinical applications. The basis of this training grant is the Molecular Basis of Infectious Disease group, which was first formed in 1996. MBID has developed into highly interactive group of over 400 faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and staff from the Houston area whose primary interest is in the molecular pathogenesis of bacterial infections. The 16 faculty members that form the core of this training grant have a record of high research productivity and extensive collaborations. They have mentored 178 predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees during the past ten years, and currently are mentoring 22 Ph.D. students and 25 postdoctoral fellows. The training program is based on a strong core curriculum, intensive and interactive research experiences, monthly MBID meetings, annual retreats, weekly seminars and journal clubs, and training in translational research and clinical infectious diseases. A summer research program has been established to aid in the recruitment of promising undergraduate students (and in particular underrepresented minority [URM] trainees) into careers in infectious disease research. During the initial grant period, 3 of 7 predoctoral trainees and 10 of 31 summer undergraduate trainees were URM students, thus promising continued success in this objective during the coming grant period.
The major goal of this ongoing, successful training grant is to provide microbiology trainees additional knowledge in clinical infectious diseases and translational research, thereby directing research toward the more rapid resolution of important infectious disease problems. In addition, the program will continue to recruit highly qualified underrepresented minority students, increasing the proportion of underrepresented minority scientists performing research at the cutting edge of the microbiology/infectious disease interface.
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