The goal of the Immunology and Infectious Disease Training Program at Indiana University School of Medicine is to develop diverse, multi-faceted scientists capable of responding to the nation's health and educational needs in the areas of host immunity and infection. Advanced knowledge of the immune system and infectious agents is essential given their impact on an increasing number of issues in human health including metabolic, vascular and cardiac diseases, aging, neural disorders, and cancer. This renewal application seeks continued support for years 11-15 to train pre- and postdoctoral fellows as well as short-term students in immunology and infectious diseases research. Institutional commitment to this training program is strong and includes financial support for trainee education and program direction, as well as state of the art facilities for basic and translational investigations. The program offers students and fellows formal and applied training within an interactive, multi-disciplinary medical center environment. The Immunology and Infectious Diseases Training Program unites twenty-three faculty with more than 80 current trainees from basic and clinical departments for integrated and innovative research and educational opportunities. Strengths of the program include the highly collaborative research of the faculty, an established program for mentoring at all levels, an extensive track record of relevant, quality publications from mentors and trainees, program mentors'sustained acquisition of extramural research funding, and successful placement of trainees in relevant careers including academics, medicine, government, and industry. Trainees benefit from the active research environment within the program including research centers, core facilities, and opportunities for teaching, co-mentoring, and career development. Comprehensive training is offered through didactic courses including bioethics, research seminars and conferences, program-specific journal clubs and meetings, grant and career workshops, and hands-on faculty mentoring. Program fellowship support is offered to trainees for two-three years with required annual reviews to ensure success. Fellowships are offered to pre-doctoral students in their 2nd year and beyond, while both junior and senior postdoctoral fellows are eligible for program support. Short-term trainees are part of an innovative initiative to encourage students from under-represented groups to consider careers in translational research related to immunology and infectious diseases. Altogether, this active and successful training program remains poised to prepare trainees for central roles in health and education-related professions.
Discoveries related to immunology and infectious diseases remain critical to disease treatment and prevention. The development of a diverse and resilient workforce knowledgeable in these areas is critical, and is the key goal for this training program.
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