A mark of a strong research institution is not just the discoveries it produces. It must also make investments into the sustainability of science across decades. In part this is accomplished through mentored, protected time for our subspecialty fellows through federal training grants. The Department of Internal Medicine is home to six different NIH-funded T32 training grants, many of which have been running for decades. One of those T32s, the Research Training in Infectious Diseases grant, was just renewed for a sixth time.
Under the leadership of Jack Stapleton, MD, the ID T32 has sheltered and mentored dozens of trainees in its 25-year run. The focus of the grant is designed to fund the study of viral and bacterial pathogenic involvement in humans, including host defense and innate immunity, and this broad portfolio has led to wide-ranging projects, everything from explorations of inflammatory function to using viral vectors to deliver vaccines.
Combining mentor-led hands-on experience with didactic courses, seminars, and journal clubs, the grant provides a stipend, covers tuition, and protects time for a cross-section of trainees. Slots for post-doctoral trainees as well as an offering for a three-month intensive experience for medical students are included in the Program. Dedicated faculty from basic science and clinical departments are available to serve as mentors as is the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary programs such as the Iowa Inflammation Program.
Members of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program are often among the beneficiaries of this grant. In a recent interview, Stapleton explained the benefits of participation in the T32 for fellows, even if they do not have a strong interest in a career focused on research.
Correction: Bill Nauseef, MD, is an active faculty member. We regret the error.