Nrsa doctoral dissertation and other research experience

He has served on multiple international advisory boards in matters of vaccine implementation, and his lab currently focuses on developing and monitoring the efficacy of vaccines. I selected Dr. Nahm as my research mentor because his expertise on both the medical and basic science components of research makes him an ideal mentor for students pursuing careers as medical scientist. Given that Dr. Nahm specializes in the immunological response to respiratory pathogens, his mentorship offers crucial support to the aims of this proposal.

Furthermore, his laboratory, employed scientists and the facilities available to the Nahm lab offer a helpful environment for experimental work. Institution : I decided to attend the University of Alabama Birmingham UAB because it is among the largest biomedical centers in the United States of America and is among the top ranked hospital systems in the country.

As such, the UAB school of medicine offers advantageous opportunities for students seeking a career in academic science. The program and university has offered me many opportunities for both academic and personal growth. Furthermore, UAB has a valued tradition of infectious disease research.

Currently four laboratories Dr. Moon Nahm, Dr. Janet Yother, Dr.

David Briles and Dr. Susan Hollingshead collaborate on research in the field of S. The sharing of resources and ideas among these labs promotes interdisciplinary approaches to questions including pneumococcal genetics, vaccinology, in vivo pathology, etc. This is a special instance that an unusually large group of investigators focus on a same pathogen, and this makes for an ideal environment for me to address the hypothesis of this proposal. The University of Alabama at Birmingham UAB has a strong and ongoing commitment to the responsible conduct of research.

The UAB campus offers many opportunities for such training including formal courses through graduate school programs and additional educational opportunities as detailed below.

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Gregory Pence, Ph. Patient, Doctor, and Society PDS is a two week multidisciplinary required module for first year medical students. The fact that PDS was chosen to be the first module in the revised curriculum serves to emphasize the importance of the concepts introduced in this course. Physicians today are being asked by the public to pay greater attention to issues that cross the boundaries of biomedical science into those of professionalism in clinical medicine, such as communication skills, compassion, honesty, cultural competency, medical decision making, ethics, patient safety, leadership and health policy.

In addition, the effective physician will need to be reflective and attentive to his or her own needs for life-long learning, personal health and well-being. This course was developed by Harold Kincaid, PhD, and provides systematic instruction about the responsible conduct of science.

The F Series of NIH Fellowships – Tips for Writing an Outstanding Fellowship Application

The three-credit hour, semester long course provides a survey of ethical issues and principles in the practice of science. It is offered twice a year Fall and Spring. Among the topics discussed are: the nature, extent and causes of fraud in science; UAB policies on fraud; ideals of good science; the responsibilities of authorship and peer review; bias and sloppy practices; responsible use of the press; potential problems raised by the commercialization of research; scientists as public policy advisors; and ethical issues involved in animal experimentation and in clinical trials.

Famous cases from the history of science as well as fictional case studies are used to involve students in discussion of the above issues including extensive use of video clips to engage students. This course is also required for all graduate students trained in the biomedical sciences. The Sponsor Moon Nahm has extensive experience on the topics of use of human samples, animal research and scientific properties. The laboratory has weekly meetings where these and other research topics are discussed among graduate students and senior scientists.

I aim to become a physician scientist in the field of pediatric infectious diseases whose research focuses on developing preventative treatments of disease. Having interacted with many professors who have found a balance between clinical and laboratory work, I, too, desire to be able to have significant interaction with patients and tailoring personal interventions against particular diseases. However, my major drive lies in academia, and the planning, partnership developing and teaching that accompany being a successful research faculty.

On pure scientific merit, this project will allow me a better understanding of the interplay between host immunity and bacterial genetics.

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Along with my additional background in medicine, this study, which deals with bacterial adaptation in during natural infection, will develop a knowledge foundation that will translate into better therapies as a clinician, and the formation of better research plans as a scientist.

Understanding how to anticipate ways that bacteria may adapt to immune response is important in the design of effective vaccines. Furthermore, this training plan guides me through the further learning of two techniques important for the development of preventative therapies: evaluating human sera samples opsonophagocytosis assays and use of mouse infection models.

Mastering these particular laboratory protocols will aid in the design of further methods to address future questions. Developing the expertise for addressing the interface between bacteria and host immunity is invaluable in my training as an effective infectious disease specialist. I visualize my career developing collaborations with funding agencies, academic peers and students. In developing this study plan and application, I have already gained a better understanding of grant writing. I have also learned many of the intricacies of experimental design.

Since many aspects of this research plan use previously established techniques for novel applications, this training plan will expose me to many troubleshooting challenges. Under the mentorship of Dr. Nahm and other experts in his lab, these experiences will be vital to my training.

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) for Individual Predoctoral Fellows (F31)

I had the privilege to collaborate with extramural labs in earlier research opportunities, and I have learned that the resources and expertise that collaborating labs can provide are necessary for academic success. Certain aspects of this training plan and other related research projects require me to collaborate with labs in both industry and academia. As I further develop this project, I will also develop my relationship with these and additional scientists. These interactions will help develop the skills and knowledge that I will use in future collaborative research endeavors.

Lastly, I strive to become a good teacher and mentor while managing my research. This project has already afforded me the opportunity to work closely with a junior graduate student. Because this particular topic, i. However, as I prepare for next steps in my education and training, I may not be able to pursue these paths. This will provide a chance for me to teach others who will continue this work, and allow for the honing of my mentoring and teaching skills.

The clinical phase consists of 1. My first research experience was in a summer undergraduate research program fellowship during my junior year of undergraduate study. I was under the mentorship of Dr.

My PhD Dissertation Journey

His lab focused on anthrax toxin-mediated cell killing of host immunological cells, including macrophages and dendritic cells. For eight weeks, my work focused on describing the kinetics of organelle destruction in macrophages following treatment with toxinx. To support this conclusion, I attempted to follow the destruction of cell structures in relation to the timing of cell death.

I hypothesized that certain structures, such as the actin cytoskeleton, would remain intact until late in the death process, i. Since this was my first research experience, most of my eight week fellowship was developing basic laboratory techniques, e. However, I was able to obtain enough data to be presented at a poster session at the end of the fellowship. Upon beginning my senior year, I began working in the laboratory of Dr. Her lab focuses on Chagas disease American trypanasomiasis , its epidemiology and the distribution of insect vectors.

By genotyping bugs collected from different sites and implementing population genetics models, we determined the existence of barriers to intermigration by bug populations. I was awarded the Loyola University Richard Frank Grant for undergraduate research to perform this project. I also presented my findings at the UBRS only the second student in Loyola history to present twice at this event in the same year , and was rewarded a travel grant to present my research at the 54th Annual American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Unfortunately, my research was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina, and I was unable to obtain enough data for publication.

One rotation was in the lab of Dr. During my rotation in the lab of Dr. Suzanne Michalek, I helped quantify cytokine production in Toll-like receptor knockout mice, in response to infection with Porphyromonas gingivalis. I also rotated and eventually joined the laboratory of Dr. Moon Nahm, where I currently train. Accordingly, the lab studies host-pathogen interaction mediated by bacterial polysaccharide PS capsule.