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IDIP and T32 Fellowship Program

CIDI Infographic of all collaborators and partners

The Infectious Disease and Inflammation Program (IDIP) pairs trainees with mentors. The UNM HSC is focused on building strong basic, clinical, and translational biomedical research programs. The program intersects with six Signature Programs at the UNM HSC that build upon the strengths of the institution:

Ground Breaking Research

CIDI has ongoing funding from the National Institutes of Health for a prestigious T32 T32AI007538 Biology of Infectious Disease and Inflammation, a grant for training young investigators in infectious diseases, allergy and immunology. This training program accepts four pre-doctoral students and two postdoctoral fellows at any given time, and provides an especially rigorous and rewarding experience. The presence of the training grant has spurred the development of several new courses and journal clubs and fostered numerous new avenues of scientific collaboration among CIDI investigators and their counterparts in other programs.

The IDIP training grant is administered through CIDI, which helps maintain the true interdisciplinary nature of the training grant. Unique and significant transdisciplinary resources and intellectual infrastructure are provided to IDIP by three HSC Centers:

IDIP mentors

Trainees receive mentorships from scientists and researchers from UNM, UNM School of Medicine and the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI), a leader in the field of pulmonary biology and the nation’s largest research center focusing solely on basic issues surrounding the toxicity of inhaled agents with an established reputation in aerosol science, and pulmonary immunity and inflammation research.

In the last 20 years, LRRI has developed a focus in infectious diseases and with its development of an ABSL3 for studies in large rodent and non-human primates offers rich opportunities for our trainees.

LRRI faculty members have participated in UNM graduate programs for more than a decade. LRRI members participate in the Infectious Disease and Inflammation Program based on research focus and on strong interest in serving as IDIP trainers. UNM has long-standing ties to the local National Labs: one IDIP mentor has a joint appointment at Sandia National Laboratory (SNL); one has an appointment at Los Alamos National Labs (LANL)

The pre-doctoral student trainee receives stipend coverage for a maximum of three years, beginning as early as the second year of training. Postdoctoral fellows may be supported for up to two years. This funding stream offers the advantage of making his/her laboratory stipend more stable than if the student is funded directly from an investigator’s grant. The student also receives a book and training supply allowance, and travel funds. In addition to the requirements of the Biomedical Science Graduate Program (BSGP), the trainee is required to participate in a number of core and/or elective courses that will give him or her a broad, in-depth understanding of infectious diseases and immunology. The courses available to the trainee include Biostatistics, Problem-based Research Bioethics (BIOM 555) and Immunopathogenesis of Infectious Diseases (BIOM 652). The trainee is expected to attend and present at relevant joint laboratory meetings as well as meeting of their Primary Investigator's own laboratory. The IDIP trainee also receives many opportunities to speak at seminars, which develops presentation skills. At least one such public seminar is required of the trainee each year.  Enrollment in the program adds prestige to their curriculum vitae.

Laboratory Investigation

The mentors in the IDIP believe that mentorship of the student in laboratory investigations is a critical responsibility. The IDIP mentorships include training the student to independently design and plan hypothesis-driven experiments in laboratory investigations. Through our rigorous training, IDIP trainees have gone on to prestigious fellowships at institutions such as The Scripps Research InstituteColorado State University, the Wadsworth Laboratory and others. Postdoctoral trainees have gone on to assume tenure-track employment at institutions such as the University of Kentucky and the University of Arizona. The collegiality of the CIDI faculty, as well as several formal joint laboratory meetings, helps assure that the trainee hears multiple perspectives on their research rather than solely the perspective of their immediate mentor or thesis advisor.

Training Structure

IDIP training includes primary mentors/trainers, mentors-in-training (junior faculty who have not secured national funding), and faculty who function as knowledge area experts. Associate staff scientists, staff scientists and senior staff scientists are from the LRRI.

IDIP Org Chart

Pre-doctoral students who have already been admitted to the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BSGP) become eligible to apply for funding from the IDIP training grant after their first year in the BSGP. Since enrollment is limited to three years for each of the four graduate students or two years for each of the two postdoctoral fellows, an average of at least one slot becomes available each year for each program.

Admission to these programs is on a competitive basis. Factors considered in the application include:

  • The student’s promise for academic and laboratory success during and after their enrollment in the training grant.
  • Student commitment to the discipline.
  • Previous academic and research record.

Progression of an IDIP student flowchart

Members of underrepresented minority groups and women are strongly encouraged to apply.

Note: Course offerings/descriptions can change; please check the current catalog

Graduate

  • BIOM 555 Problem-Based Research Bioethics
  • BIOM 583 Pathology Seminar
  • BIOM 616 Molecular Virology
  • BIOM 620 Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Seminar
  • BIOM 625 Advanced Topics in Immunology & Microbiology (including Virology Journal Club, Host-Pathogen Journal Club, Immunology Journal Club)
  • BIOM 652 Immunopathogenesis of Infectious Diseases

Undergraduate

  • Biology 450 General Virology
  • Biology 456 Immunology

  Mailing address

MSC11-6020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

  Shipping address

915 Camino de Salud NE
Fitz Hall, Room G69A
Albuquerque, NM 87131

  Voice: 505-272-1928
  Fax: 505-272-4160

CIDI@salud.unm.edu