The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Immunological Mechanisms of Disease Training Program (IMDTP) will fill a much-needed gap in the training of basic immunologic mechanisms of human disease. The clinical translation of basic science immunology to benefit human health now requires the development of scientists with appreciation of both inflammation and the tissues in which it occurs. The primary focus of the IMDTP will be to provide pre- and postdoctoral trainees with the expertise necessary to make novel discoveries in basic immunology and to translate these discoveries to human disease. The IMDTP will provide trainees a skill set to address how the immune system is regulated and functions in complex tissues in human disease by integrating basic immunology and principles of pathology with a particular emphasis on chronic, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. A long-term goal of the IMDTP will be to not only train the next generation of research scientists in basic immunology, but to emphasize the importance of using acquired knowledge as a translational platform on which to develop new therapies and interventions with a high regard for responsible conduct of research and reproducibility. We plan to use an interdisciplinary training approach building upon the Vanderbilt University program in Molecular Pathology and Immunology. The training faculty has been specifically recruited from the greater Vanderbilt scientific community conducting immunology-based research of chronic inflammatory diseases and consists of twenty-six highly productive faculty with successful mentoring records. In order to also allow for the training of future mentors, three mentors are at the Assistant Professor level. All of the faculty mentors have successful histories training predoctoral and postdoctoral scientists and have primary interests in immune- and inflammatory-based mechanisms of disease. These research programs will provide highly developed, diverse, and interdisciplinary training opportunities. All trainees will acquire and expand their skills in critical thinking, oral and written communication and interrogation of the literature. These primary functions of the IMDTP will be facilitated through our bi-weekly immunology and pathology seminar series and annual research symposium. Training will include participation in courses and modules on both basic immunology and pathology of disease processes. In addition, we will provide each trainee with the necessary instruction on responsible conduct in science, rigor and reproducibility in research and information on alternative career options. Funds are requested to support three predoctoral and two postdoctoral trainees. Thoughtful mentoring of these trainees, made possible by the IMDTP, will ensure the future of translational research focused on immunologic mechanisms of disease.
The Immunological Mechanisms of Disease Training Program (IMDTP) seeks to ground predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees in translational research focused on immunological mechanisms of disease. Using an interdisciplinary approach we will provide trainees with the necessary skills to make bench-to-bedside discoveries in human disease. In this manner, the IMDTP will fill a much-needed gap in the current training of future immunologists.