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Education / Graduate Education / PhD Programs / Translational Biomedical Science / Infection and Immunity: From Molecules to Populations


Infection and Immunity: From Molecules to Populations (IIMP) Training Focus

Venn DiagramThe University of Rochester (UR) is pleased to accept applications for its new transformative training focus in the Translational Biomedical Science (TBS) Ph.D. program called Infection and Immunity: From Molecules to Populations (IIMP) - combining equal training in basic science in infection and immunity with population health.

This program was selected for funding by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and is co-directed by Nancy M. Bennett, M.D., Director of the Center for Community Health and Co-Director of the University of Rochester Clinical & Translational Science Institute (UR CTSI), and Stephen Dewhurst, Ph.D., Chair of Microbiology and Immunology and Vice Dean for Research at the UR School of Medicine and Dentistry.

The goal of the TBS program is to prepare individuals for academic and clinical careers relating to the translation of basic biomedical research into clinical strategies to improve health. The mission of the IIMP training focus in TBS is to prepare the next generation of researchers who can lead interdisciplinary research combining population approaches with insights generated at the cellular and molecular level.

About the Program

Students in the IIMP training focus will cross-train in both population and basic sciences of infection and immunity. From the perspective of population scientists, basic science is playing a bigger role in understanding the patterns and causality of disease and health. For example, infectious disease surveillance will soon be based on whole genome sequencing and other advanced molecular detection techniques.

Knowledge of these methods and interpretation of the data they produce will be critical to understanding the patterns and transmission of disease. Similarly, basic scientists will need to understand and demonstrate the impact of their work on the health of the population. Thus, it will be essential that they understand the language and concepts of population health.


Our flexible, student-centric curriculum can be tailored to individual student needs, and all trainees will be overseen by dual mentors, one each from laboratory and population sciences. A number of new courses and innovative cross-training opportunities will provide training in team science, research collaboration and the soft skills important for career success. Furthermore, all trainees will conduct research in population science and in laboratory science through Immersive Cross-Disciplinary Internships and Externships under the mentorship of program faculty.

The program will have broad impact by promoting research on challenging contemporary questions that cross discipline boundaries at the interface of population and laboratory science, and will prepare students for high impact careers as research leaders in infection and immunity.