The field of immunology has exploded in the past decade, mainly as a result of technical developments enabling the study of complex organized structures and systems. Translational immunology research is immunological research that is oriented toward human immune diseases or therapies, ultimately aiming to convert basic discoveries made in laboratories into improved clinical therapies. Translational immunology encompasses molecular and animal research that addresses human diseases while emphasizing studies of the human immune system in an iterative ?bench to bedside and back? approach. Because control of immunological processes is the goal of research in cancer, infectious disease, transplantation and autoimmunity, knowledge gained in one area is relevant to the other areas of applied immunology, resulting in a need for ?horizontal translation? between disciplines. In order to harness the revolutionary leaps that have been made in our ability to study and control the human immune system, multidisciplinary training is needed that integrates knowledge from multiple disciplines at the basic and clinical levels and teaches young scientists how to use and analyze big data obtained from high throughput platforms such as next generation sequencing, proteomics, lipidomics and metabolomics. Analyzing these datasets increasingly demands cutting-edge bioinformatics capabilities that must be integrated into training the next generation of translational immunologists. We are proposing an integrative training program to meet this need by bringing together 29 established investigators at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and offering mentored research opportunities in six complementary fields of immunology: basic immunology, developmental immunology, immunity to pathogens, tumor immunology, transplantation . immunology and autoimmunity. Cutting-edge research along these themes will be supported by the outstanding Department of Systems Biology at CUIMC. We believe this comprehensive program will expose trainees to cutting edge translational immunology research that integrates bioinformatics analyses The ultimate goal of our program is to provide fellows with the necessary competence to become future leaders in translational immunology.
The aim of the proposed program is to train postdoctoral fellows in translational immunology research. The program will offer mentored research opportunities in six different but interconnected subspecialties: basic immunology, developmental immunology, immunity to pathogens, tumor immunology, transplantation immunology and autoimmunity. The ultimate goal is to provide trainees with the necessary competence to become future leaders in the field of immunology.