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NIH/NIAID Training Program

infectious diseases banner image - The Graves Building at UTMB Galveston, TX

NIH/NIAID-supported UTMB Postdoctoral Training Program in
Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases

The training program in emerging and reemerging infectious diseases supports postdoctoral trainees and prepares them for clinical, epidemiologic, applied or basic careers in the field. Training is provided by Program Faculty from Internal Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Pediatrics, and Pathology, as well as the Center for Tropical Diseases and the Sealy Center for Structural Biology.

The program offers training in 2 tracks: (1) basic investigation; and (2) clinical investigation. In the second tract, the trainee is encouraged to obtain an M.S. degree through the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health. The major objective of the training program is to foster development of basic or clinical research skills along with a collaborative approach to enable trainees to become independent investigators in the field of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. Research is conducted in all of the relevant pathogen-related disciplines, in pathogenetic mechanisms, and in vector biology. A strong feature of the training program is the extensive availability of international field research experience. A new global health tract will fund clinically trained fellows to study at collaborative sites in Kenya or Peru.

Training is thus available from state-of-the-art laboratories at UTMB to the most effective current techniques for research in the field. The trainees will be thoroughly oriented regarding contemporary problems in the relevant disciplines and will be provided with outstanding research opportunities. Most importantly, they will be prepared to embark on careers characterized by continual self improvement and utilization of future opportunities for collaboration and cross-disciplinary problem solving.

» UTMB Institute for Human Infections and Immunity Brochure

Clinical Training
This NIH/NIAID-funded program provides support for research training only. Research training can be combined with clinical training in infectious diseases for individuals with MD's and prior residency training in Internal Medicine or Pediatrics. Clinical training is supported by other fund sources. Individuals desiring clinical as well as research training are eligible for research training support under this program. For information regarding combined clinical and research training visit our sites at:


  • M.D./Ph.D./D.V.M.
  • U.S. citizens or permanent resident non-citizen nationals
  • Established interest and/or experience in emerging and reemerging infectious diseases Individuals desiring research training in this area, but ineligible for NIH support, should consider applying for training under the James W. McLaughlin Fellowship Fund program. (Please note that the deadline for the James W. McLaughlin Fellowship Fund is April 1 of each year.)

Participating UTMB Programs and Departments

Nomination and Application Information

Postdoctoral trainees or trainee candidates of any training grant faculty or associate faculty member are eligible. Current trainees are likewise eligible to apply for continued funding. Trainees must be permanent resident non-citizen nationals or U.S. citizens. The NIH-supported stipend will depend upon the postgraduate year of the successful applicant, and the remainder of a UTMB stipend (if greater) must be paid from other sources and is the responsibility of the faculty mentor. The program also provides limited funds for training-related tuition and fees, travel, and supplies.

Those who wish to be considered for the training program should contact potential faculty sponsor(s) directly to initiate the nomination/application process. Please see the faculty listing for e-mail addresses.


  • Application form
  • A current Curriculum vitae for the trainee candidate.
  • A letter of nomination from the UTMB sponsoring faculty member.
  • A description of the applicant's research interests and/or experience in the area of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases (maximum 2 pages). For current trainees applying for continued support, substitute a progress report and continuation research plan (maximum 5 pages).

Please send applications to Mrs. Terri Mills by one of the following methods:

  • mail to:
    The Division of Infectious Diseases
    University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
    301 University Boulevard, Rt. 0435
    Galveston, Texas 77555-0435;
  • e-mail to: temills@utmb.edu; or
  • hand deliver to Suite 4.210 Graves Bldg.

Trainees will be selected by the Admissions and Recruitment Committee, and appointed each year by the Training Program Director. Applications will be evaluated using an NIH-style scale of 1-5 considering the following criteria:

  • Academic credentials of the applicant.
  • Demonstration of aptitude for, or commitment to, research.
  • Relevance of the research of interest to the trainee to the field of emerging or reemerging infectious diseases.

Acceptance of the appointment to the training program entails signing a standard NIH "payback form" and agreement to participate in the required course on Responsible Conduct in Research (if not taken previously)

The primary department appointment is shown for each member of the faculty. Most of the program faculty members have secondary appointments in other departments and are members of the Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Center for Tropical Diseases, the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development, and the Sealy Center for Structural Biology.

Primary (Secondary)
E-mail Addresses
A. Clinton White, Jr., MD
Internal Medicine
(Infectious Diseases)
Cryptosporidium and other intestinal protozoa, strongyloidiasis, HIV, and immunoregulation in HIV-TB co-infection Program Director
Robert B. Tesh, MD, MS
Epidemiology of vector-borne and zoonotic diseases Assoc. Program Director
Jere W. McBride, PhD
(Microbiology & Immunology)
Ehrlichia, molecular pathobiology, nuclear effectors, immunity, vaccine and diagnostic development Assoc. Program Director
Alan D.T. Barrett, PhD
(Microbiology & Immunology)
Flaviviruses, molecular determinants of virus pathogenicity, vaccine development Program Faculty
Tasnee Chonmaitree, MD
Pediatrics/Infectious Diseases
Viral otitis media, respiratory viral infections, and inflammatory mediators Program Faculty
Ashok Kumar Chopra, PhD
Microbiology & Immunology
Microbial toxins and their contribution in the overall virulence of the organisms in causing human diseases. Modulation of inflammation and vaccine development Program Faculty
Nisha Garg, PhD
Microbiology & Immunology
(Center for Tropical Diseases)
Cellular and molecular mechanisms of Trypan-osoma cruzi infection, immunologic and therapeutic intervention Program Faculty
Roberto P. Garofalo, MD
Cellular and molecular mechanisms of respiratory syncytial virus infection; Pathogenesis of virus- induced asthma/allergic sensitization. Program Faculty
Thomas Ksiazek, MD
Epidemiology/ecology and laboratory diagnosis of hemorrhagic fevers and arthropod-borne viral diseases. Program Faculty
Shinji Makino, DVM, PhD
Microbiology & Immunology
Molecular biology and virus-host cell interactions of coronaviruses and bunya viruses. Program Faculty
C. Glenn Mayhall, MD
Infectious Diseases
Infectious Diseases-Epidemiology Program Faculty
Peter Melby, MD
Infectious Diseases
Immunopathogenesis of intracellular pathogens, particularly Leishmania; vaccine and drug discovery for leishmaniasis; clinical tropical diseases Program Faculty
Clarence James Peters, MD
Microbiology & Immunology
Emerging Infectious Diseases Program Faculty
Johnny W. Peterson, PhD
Microbiology & Immunology
Pathogenesis of bacterial diseases and immunologic intervention Program Faculty
Victor Reyes, PhD
Microbiology & Immunology
Pediatrics Development of immune responses to infectious agents, epithelium-microorganism interaction, Helicobacter pylori Program Faculty
Lynn Soong, MD, PhD
Microbiology & Immunology
Immunological mechanisms in New World leishmaniasis, and vaccine development. Program Faculty
David H. Walker, MD
Immunity and pathogenesis of rickettsial and ehrlicheal infections Program Faculty
Tian Wang
Microbiology & Immunology
Flavivirus, West Nile Encephalitis, Immunity, Vaccines and anti viral agents Program Faculty
Scott C. Weaver, PhD
Ecology, evolution and pathogenesis of arthropod-borne viral diseases, and molecular mechanisms of virus-vector interactions Program Faculty
Patricia Aguilar
Molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of emerging viruses including alphaviruses, bunyaviruses and arenaviruses. Antiviral drugs and vaccine development. Assoc. Program Faculty
David Beasley, MD
Microbiology & Immunology
Vaccines, therapeutics and serodiagnostic methods for flaviviruses and other arboviruses Assoc. Program Faculty
Donald Bouyer, PhD
Bacterial molecules involved in the pathogenesis of host cells by the rickettsia and to delineate their roles in the host-parasite relationship Assoc. Program Faculty
Alex Bukreyev, PhD
Molecular mechanisms of pathogenicity and immune evasion of Ebola and Marburg viruses and the development of vaccines against these and other highly pathogenic viruses Assoc. Program Faculty
Anne-Sophie Brocard, PhD
Biological & Chemical Safe
Viral Pathology Assoc. Program Faculty
Janice Endsley, PhD
Microbiology & Immunology
Immunology & Polymicrobial Infection Assoc. Program Faculty
Monique Ferguson, PhD
Preventive Medicine
and Community Health
HIV Pathogenesis Assoc. Program Faculty
Alexander Freiberg
Molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of henipaviruses and bunyaviruses. Reverse genetics. Virus-host interaction. Development of antiviral drugs and vaccines. Assoc. Program Faculty
Tom Geisbert, PhD
Microbiology & Immunology
Hemorrhagic fever viruses Assoc. Program Faculty
Juan Olano, MD
Pathology/Infectious Diseases Assoc. Program Faculty
Slobodon Paessler, PhD
Viral pathogenesis, vaccines and antivirals Assoc. Program Faculty
Robin Stephens, PhD
Infectious Diseases
Immune Response, CD4 T cell memory, to Malaria Assoc. Program Faculty
Bruno Travi, PhD
Infectious Diseases
Cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis; immunopathogenesis, prevention and control strategies; animal models of leishmaniasis; medical entomology Assoc. Program Faculty
Alfredo Torres, PhD
Microbiology & Immunology
Diarrheal disease, intracellular pathogens, bacterial genetics, mechanisms of adhesion Assoc. Program Faculty
Gustavo Valbuena, MD, PhD
Pathogenesis, immunology, and development of animal models and in vitro systems for the study of rickettsial diseases Assoc. Program Faculty
Nikoloas Vasilakis, MD
Ecology, Evolution and pathogenesis of arthropod-borne viruses Assoc. Program Faculty
Min Kyung Yi, PhD
Microbiology & Immunology
Virus replication, Mechanism of action of antiviral compounds, Virus-host interaction Assoc. Program Faculty

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