GRADUATE RESEARCH IN IMMUNOLOGY PROGRAM (GRIP): TO TRAIN GRADUATE STUDENTS FOR SUCCESSFUL CAREERS IN ACADEMIA, INDUSTRY AND GOVERNMENT
This T32 application seeks support for a Graduate Research in Immunology Program (GRIP) at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHealthSA). GRIP will train three PhD, DDS/PhD and MD/PhD students per year for successful careers in academia, industry or government. It integrates the research activities of the UT Long School of Medicine basic science and clinical departments/centers, which includes the NCI-Designated UT Health MD Anderson Cancer Center SA, the NIH/CTSA-supported UT Health Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science (UTIIMS), as well as the local affiliate Texas Biomedical Research Institute and UT System sister institution University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA). With a strong biomedical research presence, an emerging biotech industry and the greatest countrywide concentration of military bio medical activities, SanAntonio, natural capital of South Texas, completes, with Dallas and Houston, the Texas biomedical triangle. The home to GRIP will be the UT Long School of Medicine Dept. of Microbiology, Immunology &Molecular Genetics (MIMG), an academic, scientific and administrative structure promoting, fostering and integrating research and training in molecular and cell mechanisms of innate and adaptive immunity, B and T cell biology, antibody gene expression and epigenetics, immunology of aging, autoimmunity, microbialpathogenesis and cancer immunology. GRIP will be led by the new MIMG chairman, Dr. Paolo Casali, are now nedimmunologist, accomplished graduate educator and former director of NIH graduate training programs in immunology. GRIP counts on the contribution of 32 preceptors, many of them leaders in their fields, 5 support faculty and 6 faculty career advisors from MIM Gand other departments. It will benefit from an External Advisory Board of well-known immunologists. GRIP trainees will be selected from a diverse and outstanding pool of students within an existing Immunology-focused Ph.D. program. The unique UTHealth SA environment providesa natural incubator for translational research training. Thus, GRIP provides enriched training opportunities through a Translational Sciences Certificate Program, and provides an Individualized Development Plan for each trainee, strong Responsible Conduct of Research mentoring, a thorough Progress Evaluation Plan and access to a robust Office of Career Development. UT Health SA, a Department of Education-Designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, has developed aggressive outreach programs to attract under represented minority students(URMs). URM Trainees have been critical to UT Health SA success and will be an integral part of GRIP. UTHealth SA institutional commitment for GRIP is strong, providing 10% salary support to the Program Director, matching support for an additional 4 the training slot, and significant stipend supplemental support for each trainee.Thus, by leveraging existing local strengths, GRIP will provide individualized and multidisciplinary training for graduate students to become leaders in diverse and evolving biomedical fields.