The Graduate Group in Immunology is affiliated with other degree programs that offer additional specialization as well as research programs that offer a broad range of resources and training opportunities. The Graduate Group in Immunology draws on a unique combination of resources and opportunities available at one of the largest campuses within the UC system to offer comprehensive advanced training in immunology.
Affiliated Degree Programs
The Graduate Group in Immunology is affiliated with a number of degree-programs that offer additional specialization (Designated Emphasis) or the ability to enter a dual degree program to obtain a combined MD or DVM/PhD degree.
The Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB) is an inter-graduate group program administered through the UC Davis Biotechnology Program that allows Ph.D. students to receive and be credited for training in the area of biotechnology. The DEB provides a nurturing interactive environment to promote integration of multiple disciplinary approaches to the conduct of research and to promote learning in biotechnology. The program provides tools for the students to be leaders, visionaries, entrepreneurs, researchers and teachers in the broad area of biomolecular technology.
We live in a world teeming with microbes. One of the most influential areas of modern biomedical science is elucidating the ramifications and complexity of host-microbe interactions that affect animal and plant health, and dramatically influence micro- and macro-ecosystems. Fueled by technological advances, we are entering a new era of interdisciplinary approaches that enable investigators to delve deeply into the reciprocal influence of host and microbes. Training new scientists in this area will fill an unmet potential for UC Davis graduate education. The DE-HMI will synergize the campus' scholarly power to train scientific leaders that will drive new technological transformation both in the academic and private sector arenas. In addition, training students to work within an arena of interdisciplinary investigation will enable them to tackle pressing and difficult problems that they will encounter throughout their scientific careers. The DE-HMI will train students with various backgrounds to engage in science that requires a multidisciplinary approach. No graduate program at UC Davis provides the necessary educational background to enable students to rigorously investigate the complex mechanisms that underlie host-microbe interaction. The DE-HMI fills that need.
The Designated Emphasis in Translational Research (DETR) is a program that allows Ph.D. students to gain training in the area of team-based, multidisciplinary translational research and also to develop skills enabling a basic scientist to discover answers to medical challenges. The training is achieved through a new, multi-faceted, one-year curriculum that augments traditional graduate programs. Anchored by Clinical Medicine-Basic Science Learning Groups, the program involves new courses and interactive clinical rotations, experienced shoulder-to shoulder with medical students, clinical fellows and clinician educators. The curriculum includes a summer institute "Introduction to Clinical Medicine," a longitudinal lecture/laboratory course "Medical Anatomy, Physiology, Pathophysiology" and participation in an innovative "Doctoring Course." The overarching goal of the DETR program is to provide an innovative model for training a new cadre of PhD biologists who will have productive careers in clinically-relevant basic research.
The mission of the University of California Center for Vector-borne Diseases is to advance the study of endemic/enzootic and emerging vector-borne diseases through cooperative research, service and training. The Center has developed a designated emphasis in vector-borne diseases as a platform for formalized graduate training in vector-borne diseases at both the graduate and postgraduate levels to fill a void at the national and international levels in this area of research. Efforts are under way to procure a NIH-T32 training grant to further support graduate and postdoctoral students.
The program leading toward an M.D./Ph.D. degree offered by the School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, aims to train physicians to meet respond to, and solve the broad diversity of problems and dilemmas facing current and future health. The field of study for the Ph.D. portion can be completed in any graduate program offered at Davis, including Immunology. To complete the requirements of both degrees, students usually need seven to eight years. Completion of course requirements for the PhD and advancement to PhD candidacy can be achieved within 3 quarters (see Dual degree study plan). Two competitive fellowships are awarded each year in support of students enrolled in the M.D./Ph.D. Program. Information regarding the Ph.D. programs may be obtained from the Dean of Graduate Studies at UC Davis, the individual Graduate Groups, or the chair of the M.D./Ph.D. Dual Degree Committee, School of Medicine.
The Veterinary Scientist Training Program (VSTP) of the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis has at its mission to provide an opportunity for veterinary students enrolled in the School to engage concurrently in a formal scientific training program, thus enabling them to graduate with dual DVM and PhD degrees. The goal of the VSTP is to train veterinary scientists who are especially well prepared to help meet evolving scientific, social, ethical, political and humanitarian challenges facing animal and public health care. Meeting these challenges requires advanced PhD training in a chosen scientific area in addition to the traditional training received during completion of the DVM degree.
Affiliated Research Programs
Faculty within the Graduate Group in Immunology participate in a number of affiliated research programs at UC Davis that provide invaluable and unique research resources and training opportunities.
The University of California, Davis Mouse Biology Program (MBP) is an evolving program of excellence that is built upon the campus' exceptional strengths in biological science, veterinary medicine, and human medicine. These strengths are combined within the Center for Comparative Medicine, a unique research and teaching center that provides the intellectual and administrative oversight of the MBP. These goals are being developed within the context of the teaching mission of the University, providing outstanding opportunities for training in comparative medicine, including studies of immune responses to pathogens and cancer. The MBP serves the UC Davis campus, the western region, and the nation, with growing international linkages.
The California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) is a federally funded biomedical research facility dedicated to improving human and animal health. It is one of the largest Primate Research Centers in the country. The CNPRC is part of a network of eight national primate research centers sponsored by the National Center for Research Resources, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Active research areas include host-pathogen interaction, particularly studies on SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus - a model for HIV) and stem cell biology.
The faculty participating in the UC Davis Center for Comparative Respiratory Biology and Medicine work to resolve the disease problems associated with the respiratory system, using a strong interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary approach which integrates basic cellular biology with animal models and clinical applications of therapeutic strategies. The Center serves as the focal point for the large and diverse research community at UC Davis whose interests focus on the respiratory system. Training opportunities and support for graduate students exist through a NIH-T32 training grant.
The Western Human Nutrition Research Center is one of six USDA-funded human nutrition centers in the country. Located on the University of California, Davis, campus, the goal of the Center is to define nutrition interventions that promote good health. Participating faculty within the Graduate Group in Immunology study how nutrition and dietary components such as lipids and vitamins might affect the immune system.
The Host-pathogenesis group is an affiliation of several research groups with an interest in bacterial and viral pathogenesis. The group meets regularly to discuss research in progress and relevant papers from the current literature. The presentations are open to any students or faculty with interest in the topics. Two-day Research Retreats have been held over the last couple of years near Truckee (Tahoe) that facilitate interaction between students and faculty and particularly allow first year graduate students to learn about research opportunities at UC Davis within the area of host-pathogen interaction.