Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division
The Training Program in Infectious Diseases in the Immunocompromised Host has been established to train MD and PhD students to perform clinically relevant research in infectious diseases within the immunocompromised population.
The mission of our training program is to develop the next generation of physician and postdoctoral scientists with expertise in infectious diseases in the immunocompromised host. Our goal is to provide rigorous and interdisciplinary training to foster innovative and collaborative research in infectious diseases in the transplant setting and other known and emerging areas of immunosuppression. We aim to train individuals who will use that expertise to advance knowledge and develop innovative strategies to prevent, treat and control these infections. Fred Hutch, with its variety of resources and established training success, is uniquely suited to this goal.
The overall burden of infectious diseases is on the rise. A 2007 WHO report warned that infectious diseases are spreading more rapidly than ever before, and new infectious diseases are being discovered at an unprecedented rate.
The proportion of the US population experiencing immunosuppression is also rising, partly attributed to the advancement of solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation techniques, therapies for autoimmune diseases, and immunosenescence (immunosuppression due to aging). Cancers and numerous immunologic disorders may also be linked to more specific or limited forms of immunocompromise, either by the immunosuppression caused directly by the disease or through the use of additional immunosuppressive treatments. This high-risk population experiences an increased risk of infectious diseases. Moreover, the outcomes of such infections and conditions, even those otherwise considered benign in healthy patients, can cause severe morbidity and mortality in the immunosuppressed.
The core curriculum for the training program includes formal courses, didactic exercises and conferences that are important for all trainees regardless of their degree or research interests/projects. Some of the training is skills-based and covers key learning objectives, while others involve attendance and interactive research-focused group events.
The training has four different yet finely integrated tracks that represent not only the individual strengths of the training faculty but also areas of innovation and unmet scientific and medical need. A senior faculty mentor with outstanding credentials within the unique area has been selected to be the leader of each track.