The Molecular Basis of Infectious Disease (MBID) research training program is centered on 22 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. 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 22 faculty members that form the core of this training grant have a record of high research productivity, extensive collaborations, and graduate student and postdoctoral fellow training. They have mentored 76 predoctoral trainees during the past ten years, and currently are mentoring 21 Ph.D. students. The training program includes a newly revised core curriculum, intensive and interactive research experiences, monthly MBID meetings, annual retreats, weekly seminars and journal clubs, and specialized training in translational research and clinical infectious diseases. The MBID program has a strong track record in terms of the recruitment, training, and career advancement of underrepresented groups. For the next grant period, enhancement of the successful MBID predoctoral program with an improved curriculum and the initiation of a new Research Scholar Program for the recruitment of outstanding underrepresented group trainees are proposed.
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 trainees from underrepresented groups, increasing the diversity of scientists performing research at the cutting edge of the microbiology/infectious disease interface.
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