Petry Dish

NIAID Infectious Diseases & Inflammatory Disorders Training Program


Tina Wang, PhD

Tian Wang, PhD
Program Director

This innovative research enrichment program combines faculty’s research expertise with unique institutional resources for the hands-on training of medical students. Training is provided by faculty members from the departments of Microbiology & Immunology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Pathology, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Surgery. The research theme is centered on infections and inflammation, especially on pathogen detection, regulation of host inflammatory responses, and vaccine/drug development for the control of pathogens and tissue damages. Students will devote full-time (8 weeks) during the summer, having an in-depth exposure to biological concepts and modern biomedical research tools, and will have the opportunity to choose basic, clinical or behavior research projects. The program will match talented medical students with grant-funded research faculty mentors, coupling the daily research experience with research seminars, round-table discussions, and oral/poster presentations. Our students’ publications and poster awards have highlighted the success and impact of this program.  Since 2009, the program has recruited 105 trainees and contributed to 36 publications.  The program has been supported by NIH T35AI0778878 (PI : Lynn Soong for 2008-2013 & 2015-2020; PI: Tian Wang for 2021- 2026). 

 Download 2024 NIAID T35 Program Brochure


Lynn Soong, MD, PhD
Program Co-director

Program Overview

105 trainees contributed to a total of 36 publications


Christy Lee (2022 trainee) won the NSRF Best Oral Presentation Award in Translational Research for her summer research on SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study.


2021 T35 trainee group picture (left to right): Hannah Lu, George Ishac, Zachary Chroust, Jordan Norman, Ryan Shepherd, Pamela Horton, Emilio Cavazos-Escobar. Not pictured: Basel Hamwi


Jayson Vargas (2022 trainee)


2022 T35 trainee weekly training meeting via zoom (Top panel left to right: Dr. Tian Wang, Bryan Pearson, Jessica Ngo, Mingru Liu). Other attending trainees: Christy Lee, Jacob Alaniz, Jayson Vargas, Deena Ismail, Mithil Shah, David Parkhurst.

Tyler Brehm and Lynn Soong

Tyler Brehm and his mentor, Dr. Lynn Soong, at the 2017 Vaccine Conference in San Antonio, TX

Paulette Pham and Dr. Jianli Dong

Paulette Pham and her mentor, Dr. Jianli Dong, at the 2015 MSSRP poster session


Joon Yong Moon (2017 trainee)

Joon Yong Moon (2017 trainee)

August Schaeffer (2017 trainee)

August Schaeffer (2017 trainee)


Megan Swonke (2016 trainee)

Megan Swonke (2016 trainee)

Amir Ali (2016 trainee)

Amir Ali (2016 trainee)


Paymon Mosavi (2016 trainee)

Paymon Mosavi (2016 trainee)

Ryan Lawrence (2016 trainee)

Ryan Lawrence (2016 trainee)


2015 Trainees at MSSRP Poster Session

2015 trainees at the MSSRP poster session

NIAID Trainee Weekly Meeting

NIAID Trainee Weekly Meeting (2017)


2018 NIAID T35 Trainees

2018 NIAID T35 Trainees

Front row, from left: Lynn Soong, MD, PhD (NIAID T35 director), Marisol Esqueda, Amulya Sajja, Karen Zhang, Shelby Luikart, Jerome Escano. Second row, from left: Rahul Shah, Micah Kerney, Bradley Dye, Devon Raja, Tamer Ghanayem, Cody Teleki, Scott Weaver, MS, PhD (Chair, Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology)

2016 UTMB SOM Commencement (NIAID 2013 Trainees)

2016 UTMB SOM Commencement (NIAID 2013 Trainees)

From left: Jaye A. Weston, Christopher Do, Zakari Kwota, Huijian Sun, Lynn Soong, MD, PhD (NIAID T35 director), Abigail Watts, Stephanie Opusunju, and Claire Drom

2016 Trainees in NIAID and TMGH Programs

2016 NIAID and TMGH Trainees at Weekly Meetings

From left: Drs. Jing Meng and Chunfang Liu from the Tropical Medicine & Global Health course, Ardalan Sharifi, Dr. Lynn Soong (NIAID T35 director), Ryan Lawrence, Marysuna Wilkerson, Brandon Hood, Dr. Michael Laposata (Chair of Dept. of Pathology), Harica Kodakandla, Paymon Mosavi, Minh Thu Nguyen, Amir Ali, and Stephanie Ibrahim. Not shown: Megan Swonke

2015 Trainees in NIAID and TMGH Programs

2015 Trainees in NIAID and TMGH Programs

Front row: Dr. Min Zhang, Dr. Lynn Soong, Erin Dinehart, Paulette Pham, Regina Tirbeni, Dr. Lei He. Back row: Denley Yuan, Eduardo Rodriguez, Karl Hesson, Christopher Wright, Logan Grimes. (Drs. Zhang and He from the Tropical Medicine & Global Health course)