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Fellowships >> Allergy & Immunology Fellowship >> Program >> Research and Scholarly Activities

A & I Fellowship - Program

Research and Scholarly Activities

To initiate a project, the A&I fellow is expected to perform outside reading of the biomedical literature in an area of interest. Both clinical and laboratory mentors with whom the fellow is working are expected to provide input into the area of interest, and also guidance regarding the literature in that area.  A listing of the research faculty follows this section. Based on their interests and background reading, the A&I fellow will meet with the principal investigator (PI) of various laboratories, and discuss potential laboratory projects. Typically, the laboratory project will be in an area of focus of the PI, designed to accommodate the long term research interests of the A&I fellow, and feasible within a 2-year period of time. The choices of PI and project are also discussed and vetted with the training program head. Finally, upon choosing a laboratory, the fellow will establish a mentoring committee that will include the laboratory mentor and 2-3 additional faculty with synergistic expertise. The committee will assist in monitoring research progress and additional aspects of career planning for the fellow. Project completion is expected to coincide with the accumulation of sufficient data to lead to a publication. Through weekly meetings and on-going discussions with their laboratory head/mentor, the A&I fellows will acquire the ability to assess their data, and move their project towards a coherent and medically relevant conclusion. Once a coherent body of data is completed, the A&I fellow will be expected to write an initial draft of a manuscript, and will work with the laboratory head/mentor through subsequent drafts until a final draft satisfactory to both is generated.  The A&I fellow and laboratory head/mentor will then choose a suitable journal, and submit the manuscript for review and publication.

The fellow is responsible for sufficient effort to complete the project with the expectation that the results will be reported at a national conference and submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The mentor in consultation with the program director/co-director individualizes the choice of course work. For example, UW A&I fellows to attend the core graduate course in Immunology (IMM 532, Advanced Immunology). This course covers the principles and experimental approaches relevant to understanding the development and function of the immune system, the molecular basis of immune responsiveness, regulatory mechanisms underlying immune tolerance and cellular homeostasis, and provides an introduction to anti-tumor immunology, host defenses to infectious diseases, and autoimmunity. Other courses, such as one or more of the 5-week Molecular and Cellular Biology graduate courses, may be appropriate in some cases. There is also a short course in Study Design and Statistics, offered through the Clinical Research Center, which trainees take. All trainees complete a formal course in the responsible conduct of research, and the relevant brief courses required for working with radioactive or biohazardous materials and animals as pertinent to their research studies.  These courses are augmented by informal training experiences coordinated by the UW Department of Immunology, in which all trainees may participate:

  1. Immunology 573 Seminar Series
    Approximately 20-25 seminars, delivered by noted authorities from other research centers, are presented each year (see Section III.5.9 list of recent topics/speakers).
  2. Annual Department of Immunology Retreat
    A two-day retreat is held annually that allows faculty and trainees to discuss scientific interests, present an update of their research and share time socially. Each of the faculty gives an oral presentation and the trainees present posters in an informal atmosphere (see Section III.5.10 for list of recent topics/speakers).
  3. Research-in-Progress Conferences
    These weekly research conferences provide trainees with the opportunity to present their results before a critical audience composed of faculty and their peers.

In summary, fellows will be provided with a structured research experience sufficient to result in an understanding of the basic principles of study design, performance, analysis, and reporting such that:

  • Fellows must be able to conduct a comprehensive literature search.
  • Fellows must have the opportunity to design, write, review, or edit research protocols or plan.
  • Fellows must demonstrate a working knowledge of research design, statistics, clinical trials, epidemiology, and laboratory research.
  • Fellows must be able to apply the principles of data collection, data analysis and data interpretation.
  • Fellows must conduct the research activity under proper supervision.
  • Fellows must be able to communicate research findings orally and in writing.
  • It is expected that the trainee present their research findings at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) or another major society if appropriate (e.g., American Association of Immunologists, American Thoracic Society).

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