TRAINING IN MICROBIAL PATHOGENESIS
RUYECHAN, WILLIAM T Principal Investigator
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DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The proposed training program will continue to provide instruction for selected predoctoral students (PhD) in Microbial Pathogenesis. Substantial efforts will be made to attract and nurture candidates from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. The required course work for predoctoral trainees (the core curriculum) is designed to focus thinking on pathogenesis; it starts with fundamental biochemistry and cell biology courses and a basic immunology course. It also includes seminar courses, in which students are introduced to the pathogenesis literature. In the second year, courses in bacterial genetics and physiology and virology courses are followed by microbial pathogenesis and epidemiology courses. At this time, trainees will have started pathogenesis research in a faculty laboratory, and will continue with pathogenesis seminar courses. These courses will be taught with a bias towards examples from the pathogenesis literature. All trainees are required to be present at all pathogenesis seminars, held approximately twice/week; postdoctoral fellows and senior students present in such seminars. The qualifying examination is based on an 'NIH-type' research proposal. Courses are specifically designed for PhD students and are taught separately from those given to other professional students at the University at Buffalo (UB). Laboratory research begins in the first year of predoctoral study with at least three rotations in different laboratories. The major experience for trainees is research leading to a dissertation, for which at least three years is normally required. In addition to laboratory and journal club work, postdoctoral fellows attend selected graduate courses. The chief criteria for success are insight, independence, laboratory skills, ability to present work and critical analysis of the work of others and placement. Three times yearly, the microbial pathogenesis faculty organize national/regional meetings, which trainees attend and at which they present their work. Trainees also present their work in a weekly scientific exchange seminar series. UB has a wealth of supplementary educational experiences in biomedical sciences available for all trainees who wish to take advantage of the size and scope of this major University campus.