This is a competitive renewal application for continuing support of a predoctoral training program at UC Davis focused on research using animal models of infectious diseases (AMID). The AMID Training Program, launched in 2004, takes advantage of the extraordinary resources at UC Davis, where we have co-localized on one campus the Graduate School, Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, the California National Primate Research Center, the internationally renowned Mouse Biology Program, and the Center for Comparative Medicine?a unique training environment that arguably exists nowhere else in the world. During the previous funding period, through this NIH grant and UC Davis matching support, we supported a group of 25 students who were mentored by 17 different faculty trainers, and included 13 (59%) women trainees, 8 students with a combined DVM/PhD or MD/PhD, and 7 (28%) trainees from URM groups. The success of the AMID Program during the past funding period is best highlighted by the quality of the 25 students and their accomplishments, which include authoring a mean of 4.8 papers from their UC Davis graduate work, many in very high impact journals; predoctoral fellowships from the NSF, NIH, and the American Heart Association; and prestigious postdoctoral positions for most graduates. The AMID program has promoted collaborative research, student mentorship, research seminars, and grants to participating faculty. In addition, the training program has spurred development of new campus initiatives, including an interdisciplinary graduate program (equivalent to a minor) called the Designated Emphasis in Host-Microbe Interaction, two new course offerings, and enhanced teaching of responsible conduct of research. We request continued support of four predoctoral trainees per year, which will be supplemented by institutional funds to support three additional trainees. We expect that the AMID Training Program successes will be even more impressive in the coming funding period, as we go forward with a large pool of accomplished potential trainees; enthusiastic program directors who have gained experience; a training faculty that is larger, more accomplished, and includes promising junior faculty to continue the program into the future; and a research community operating in a rich environment for studies on animal models of human infectious diseases.
This application seeks funding to train PhD students to use animal models to study human infectious diseases. Research conducted by these trainees will have broad impact on the understanding, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases, which are among the most important causes of human illness.
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