An interdisciplinary biodefense and emerging infectious diseases training program for both predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows has been established at the Wadsworth Center in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health's Division of Epidemiology and with the State University at Albany's Departments of Biomedical Sciences, Epidemiology and Biostatistics. This program, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is intended to prepare the next generation of scientists who will develop integrated research programs in biodefense preparedness and response to infectious threats.
Fellows will receive broad training in bioterrorist agents, emerging infectious disease, and epidemiology. Trainees will learn about clinically relevant laboratory pathogens by participating in lab rotations and seminars and taking advantage of opportunities to conduct basic and applied research on biodefense agents. They may also participate in field research on the ecology and epidemiology of the NIAID priority pathogens, work directly on epidemiologic investigations, and receive training in biocontainment and the latest diagnostic methods. Fellows will pursue research in funded laboratories (see Training Faculty/Research Interests below). The Wadsworth Center has several state-of-the-art high containment laboratories (BLS3) including an insectary and small animal space. In addition, Core facilities are available to facilitate research.
The director of the training program, Kathleen McDonough, Ph.D., is Deputy Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Wadsworth Center and Professor of Immunology and Infectious Disease, Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York. Co-director Marlene Belfort, Ph.D., is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York.
TRAINING FACULTY/RESEARCH INTERESTS
- Marlene Belfort, Ph.D. - Dynamics of introns and inteins in bacterial pathogens
- Jan Conn, Ph.D.- Evolutionary and population genetics, ecology, natural history of mosquito vectors of viral and protozoan pathogens
- Keith Derbyshire, Ph.D. - Molecular genetics and genomics of mycobacteria, virulence, mobile DNA, drug design
- Nicholas Mantis, Ph.D. - Mucosal immunity to ricin and Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B
- Paul Masters, Ph.D. - Reverse genetics, RNA synthesis, and pathogenesis of coronaviruses, including SARS coronavirus
- Kathleen McDonough, Ph.D. - TB and plague virulence gene regulation and pathogenesis
- Janice Pata, Ph.D. - Mutagenic effects of lesion-bypass DNA polymerases
- Joseph Wade, Ph.D. - Regulation of gene expression in bacteria