Project Summary Unifying scientific principles in the life sciences continue to be discovered in viral systems. Gene therapy and oncolytic virotherapy depend on viral vectors. Awareness that a deep understanding of basic virology is necessary for the development of gene therapy led to the foundation of the Virology and Gene Therapy (VGT) track of Mayo Graduate School in 2004. Ph.D. training leverages the strength of basic research and the robust translational infrastructure at Mayo Clinic. Training is performed in the laboratories of 22 VGT faculty members. Nine are from the Department of Molecular Medicine, three from the Division of Infectious Diseases, and the others from nine different departments and programs. They are united by leadership in research on viruses, vectors, mechanisms of human disease, cancer treatment, and gene therapy. VGT popularity is based in part on its unique training opportunities in both virology and the translation of viral and gene therapeutics. During the entire time of their thesis the students engage in a full array of programmatic activities including journal clubs, seminar series, an annual retreat and national scientific meetings. Requirements for the VGT track conform to the general requirements of the Mayo Graduate School. NIH support of three trainees in years 4 and 5 of their thesis would allow expanding this successful and innovative program.
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