Vanderbilt Infection Pathogenesis and Epidemiology Research Training Program

  • Blaser, Martin (PI)
  • Miller, Geraldine (PI)

Project Details


Program Summary This application requests continued support for the ?Vanderbilt Infection Pathogenesis and Epidemiology Research? (VIPER) Training Program. The objective is to prepare postdoctoral fellows for careers in infectious diseases basic science, translational research, and epidemiology in infectious diseases. Training is in basic laboratory research to study disease pathogenesis using molecular and cellular methods, translational science, and patient-oriented epidemiology and outcomes research. Our field has a critical labor force shortage in physician-scientists in these interrelated areas that this T32 addresses. There is broad expertise among our program faculty covering immunology and inflammation, virology (HIV and Other Viruses), bacteriology, personalized medicine, vaccines, clinical trials, and epidemiology and outcomes research (HIV, TB, hospital epidemiology, and global health). VIPER brings early-stage, emerging investigators together, rather than training them in silos or vacuum, enhancing the potential for basic scientists to appreciate and understand ?real world? problems and barriers to implementation that might inform their own experimental designs, hypotheses, and long-term goals. Similarly, we help empower translational scientists to better appreciate both clinical (?bedside?) needs, revealed by epidemiological research, and candidate, bench-based solutions, which they can then couple through translational research to advance human health. Enhancing interactions among these three ?phenotypes? of investigators we also position epidemiologists to collect and analyze data that are most informative to their translational and basic science colleagues. Almost every ?intractable? problem in infectious diseases will benefit from this holistic approach, which our T32 is aiming to foster. We will catalyze team science and collaborative problem solving through integrated conferences, networking events, shared classes/coursework, and regular, seemingly stochastic, interactions. Participating faculty are in the Infectious Disease Divisions of Medicine and Pediatrics, the Division of Epidemiology, and the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology. This program has a strong track record of interactive training of post-MD fellows from both Medicine and Pediatrics, and also includes post-PhD trainees. There is extensive collaboration among mentors. Long-term success is maximized by a customized research career plan for each trainee with a dedicated mentor, and under the supervision of an expert advisory committee and the Program Directors. VIPER provides support for Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation and Masters in Public Health Degrees. Vanderbilt courses in responsible conduct of research, unconscious bias and sexual harassment are required. Physicians complete a year of clinical training before starting VIPER training, and a minimum of two years of research training is required for all fellows.
Effective start/end date4/1/957/31/22


  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


  • Infectious Diseases
  • Epidemiology


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.