Training Program in Immunology

Immunobiology of myeloid and lymphoid cells

The training program in immunology at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth has been augmented by an institutional training grant awarded by the NIH (NIAID) on the basis of excellence in training and mentoring young scientists with immunological research interest.

The primary goals of the training program, now in its sixteenth year of funding by the NIH, continue to be to recruit talented and highly-motivated graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and to provide them with first-rate classroom and laboratory training which will prepare them for careers in research, including in academia as competitive, independent investigators. The program faculty's research interests span a wide range of immunologic questions, allowing the entering trainee a considerable breadth of experimental and conceptual choice of systems, approaches, and specific research topics.

Training is available in both animal and human systems, and there are several projects in each category that are particularly attractive for training MD's for research careers. Research areas include antigen presentation and induction of immunity, tumor immunity and immunotherapy, mucosal immunity including studies of the human female reproductive tract, vaccine development for cancer and infectious disease (including biodefense organisms), regulation of immunity, and autoimmunity. A critical strength of the proposed training grant is the high quality of the research programs of the participating faculty.

This faculty includes 22 well-funded program members, drawn from 7 departments within the medical school (Anesthesiology, Biochemistry, Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology, Pharmacology/Toxicology, and Physiology), who have productive, timely, and energetic ongoing research efforts. Excellent facilities exist at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, particularly with the construction of new laboratories of the Dartmouth Cancer Center in the Rubin, as well as the Borwell, Research Buildings at the Medical Center site.

The labs are fully equipped so that the entire range of state-of-the-art immunological, biochemical, and molecular biologic techniques can be applied to various experimental questions. Training towards the PhD degree in immunology spans four graduate programs - Physiology, Pharmacology/Toxicology, the new Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine (PEMM), and Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), with the latter containing the majority of the participating faculty and students.

Within the MCB PhD degrees are awarded by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology to indicate the student's specialization in immunology. Collectively, these PhD programs encompass over 140 current students with annual classes of 30-40 recruited from pools of several hundred applicants. Consistent with this organization, graduate training in immunology at Dartmouth is an interdisciplinary approach that is nurtured by a highly interactive environment in which the trainees are regularly exposed to diverse areas of faculty expertise, from clinical to basic science studies, in a variety of forums, including a number of advanced courses, weekly seminar series, journal clubs, and retreats.

Thus, students and postdoctorals benefit from a vigorous faculty involvement and scientific exchange characteristic of the Dartmouth tradition of close student-faculty interactions. Indeed, the key to the excellence of the proposed program is the uniform intense, enthusiastic participation of our nationally and internationally recognized program faculty.

Contact William Green, PhD for more information.