This is a renewal of the existing Emory University Vaccinology Training Program T32 that was first funded in 2009. Emory is uniquely positioned to train a cadre of scientists with expertise in multi-disciplinary approaches to vaccines. The faculty preceptors have the breadth of expertise and mentoring experience that are critical for training a new generation of Vaccinologists. The preceptors are affiliated with several departments and programs at Emory, including the Emory Schools of Medicine and School of Public Health, the Emory Vaccine Center and the joint Emory-Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech) Biomedical Engineering Department at Emory. The preceptors have extensive training experience across several Vaccinology disciplines, including microbiology and immunology, infectious diseases, public health, pathology, pediatrics, epidemiology, behavior, global health, and health policy. This renewal application proposes support for five postdoctoral fellows (MD, PhD, or MD/PhD)-an increase of one fellow-to engage in full-time Vaccinology training. The fellows receive formal and informal education and career mentoring, and conduct mentored research. Our trainees acquire the skills and background necessary for their success as Vaccinology leaders in the future. Each trainee selects an in depth mentored research project with a preceptor from one of four Research Training Sections: 1) Pathogenesis & Vaccine Discovery; 2) Innate & Adaptive Immune Responses to Bacterial, Protozoal, & Viral Antigens; 3) Vaccine Epidemiology & Health Policy; and 4) Translation, Delivery & Clinical Trials. Every trainee participates in two required comprehensive graduate level courses emphasizing different aspects of the field of Vaccinology, and a third required course in Research Ethics. The specific goals of the Program include: To Inspire and attract outstanding post-doctoral trainees to pursue interdisciplinary training in preparation for independent vaccinology research careers; To integrate the strong basic science, translational research, and clinical trials programs at Emory into a multi-faceted training experience, producing a synergistic whole greater than the sum of its individual parts; To train MD and PhD scientists committed to careers in vaccine research to incorporate innovative basic science tools into Vaccinology and public health; To provide each trainee with formal and informal Vaccinology education, a mentoring team for his or her collaborative multidisciplinary research project, and career mentoring.
This application responds to an urgent need to train a new generation of Vaccinologists. Vaccines have dramatically reduced the spread of infectious diseases, show great potential for preventing and controlling chronic conditions, and highly cost-effective. However, to achieve the full potential of vaccines and address difficulties that have hindered progress, a new generation of well-prepared scientists is needed.
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