Goals The Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at the University of Rochester has three specific objectives, which are as follows: To create a supportive, productive, and exciting environment, in which trainees will conduct outstanding research in microbiology and immunology, while working as full-time laboratory technicians under the supervision of a program faculty member. This will be achieved by bringing together a highly interactive and experienced group of well-funded faculty concerned with the advancement of underrepresented minority trainees, whose research interests span a diverse range of topics, and whose laboratories use a wide array of experimental approaches. To provide high quality educational opportunities, that will prepare trainees for future doctoral studies. To this end, each trainee will perform an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty mentor. In addition, an individual plan of study will be developed for each PREP participant, tailored specifically to meet the individual needs of that trainee. This will include a small number of carefully selected courses, designed to allow trainees to (a) receive necessary instruction in specific skills/areas, (b) demonstrate their academic preparedness for doctoral studies, and (c) to gain academic credit towards the Ph.D. at the University of Rochester. To create a highly enriched learning environment, with strong peer support. Enrichment activities will include instruction in scientific communication skills, attendance at national scientific meetings, participation in an annual retreat/symposium, and the opportunity to select, invite and meet with extramural seminar speakers. Finally the trainees will be provided with opportunities for social interaction and networking with one another, and they will have access to peer mentors for collegiality, collaborations and, if needed, personal tutoring.