Infectious Diseases Graduate Training
The Infectious Diseases Training Program at the University of Virginia is in its 4th decade. The Program goal is to provide a rich interdisciplinary experience in infectious diseases research. Research themes encompass the immunology, epidemiology and pathogenesis of infectious diseases. The centerpiece of our program is side-by-side education of predoctoral students, PhD and MD postdoctoral fellows. Their training is enriched by special activities of the Program, including graduate coursework in infectious diseases, MPH and MS programs in clinical research, research-in progress sessions and journal clubs.
The Program comprises 36 faculty from seven departments and two research centers within a 5 minute walk at the School of Medicine. All of our faculty collaborate, and 46% have co-published papers in the last 5 years. 100% of the preceptors are extramurally supported, and 92% are NIH-supported. Extramural support has almost doubled to $13.5 million in annual direct costs in the last 5 years. The average Preceptor has trained > 10 pre- or postdoctoral students, but select "up and coming" junior faculty are also included.
Eight predoctoral fellows and nine postdoctoral fellows (5 MD and 4 PhDs) are supported by two NIH training grants (one in Infectious Diseases and one in Biodefense). 12% of positions awarded in the last 5 years have been to underrepresented minorities and individuals with a disability. Women constitute 54% of trainees and 23% of preceptors. All of the supported trainees have, or are, conducting their research with one of the Program preceptors. Publications of peer-reviewed research papers average 2.6/trainee for all graduates. The predoctoral component of the Program is in its 11th year, with our Ph.D. graduates currently pursuing academic careers. The Program has graduated 31 postdoctoral trainees since the program’s inception in 1997: 92% hold academic/research positions (18 at medical schools, 3 at NIH or FDA and 1 in industry) and 80% are conducting research.