Immunobiology has become increasingly relevant to surgical practice, influencing diverse disciplines including oncology, inflammatory bowel disease, transplantation, trauma and critical care. Although the importance of immune manipulation has become an evident adjunct to surgical practice, surgical training neither includes advanced immunology nor prepares surgeon-scientists to participate in immune-related research. This training grant application seeks funding for the formation of the Advanced Immunobiology Training Program (AITP) at Duke University to create surgeon-scientists capable of participating in and leading surgically relevant areas of immunobiological research. The training program will combine the substantial academic rigor of the Duke University School of Medicine with the Duke Department of Surgery's longstanding and highly successful commitment to training the next generation of surgical researchers. The program will be co-directed by an academic surgeon and a basic sciences researcher, each with expertise in immunology. Supplemented by mentors with expertise in basic, translational, and clinical research, this multidisciplinary team is uniquely qualified to merge basic and applied immunobiology with evolving surgical practice. Program participants will consist of postdoctoral trainees who have completed medical school and initiated surgical residency. At least six individuals will be trained during the proposed funding period. Based on individual development plans, each trainee will choose to participate in either a two- or three-year training program, with opportunities to complete a Master of Health Sciences degree in Clinical Research, or pursue a PhD in Immunology. Trainees will select a primary mentor from a highly experienced and diverse group of 16 basic, translational or clinical immunobiological researchers. Guided by their mentor, they will follow a structured didactic curriculum that will transition to a mentored research experience. A robust research infrastructure and substantial departmental resources will support the students, facilitating their conduct and publication of original investigations with complete protection from clinical service. Specific instruction in immunological investigation will be provided, as will mentorship in scientific writing, publication, ethics and clinical time management.
/ Public Health Relevance Immunobiological research findings have become increasingly relevant in surgical practice, influencing diverse surgical disciplines including oncology, transplantation, inflammatory bowel disease, trauma and critical care. Although the importance of immune manipulation has become an evident adjunct to the practice of surgery, and a necessary component of most advances in surgical disease, surgical training neither includes advanced immunology nor prepares surgeon-scientists to participate in immune-related research. This program aims to provide surgeons with training in advanced immunology and create surgeon-scientists capable of participating and leading in surgically relevant areas of immunobiological research.