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Federally-Funded Training Programs

Federally funded training programs support the scientific and professional development of predoctoral students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Training program support is only  obtained through a highly competitive, peer-reviewed application process and our success reflects highly on the quality of our faculty, students and postdoctoral scholars, their research projects and the impact of their training programs on our trainees. 

Innate Immunity Training Program

Principal Investigator(s): Neal Silverman, PhD
Project End Date: 8/31/2026

Our understanding of the impact and workings of the innate immune system has increased exponentially in the past 20 years. Innate immunity is now a complex discipline that encompasses a variety of topics ranging from innate immune sensing and receptor signaling to microbial pathogenesis to auto-immune and auto-inflammatory diseases. To effectively train students in such a cross-disciplinary field requires a cohesive and interactive faculty unit with diverse expertise. The 28 UMass Medical School faculty participating in Innate Immunity Training Program (IITP) represent just such a group. Our goal is to provide an outstanding training environment for predoctoral students committed to effectively and creatively expanding our understanding of innate immune mechanisms. Predoctoral trainees receive solid academic training in biochemistry/biophysics, molecular and cellular biology, immunology, and genetics through the UMMS core curriculum and IITP curricular components. An in-depth understanding of rational experimental design and the subtleties of the innate immune interactions is achieved through regularly scheduled journal clubs, as well as seminar presentations by internationally recognized experts. The diverse research interests of our faculty provide trainees with a wide range of opportunities in both basic and translational research, focused on innate immunity, inflammation, and the link between the innate and adaptive immune responses. Particular areas of faculty expertise include innate host defense mechanisms, pathogen evasion, pattern recognition receptor signaling and interactions (Toll-like receptors, NOD-like receptors, and beyond), complement cascades, inflammasome activation, innate-like lymphocyte subsets, antigen presentation, protein structure & function, and autoimmunity. IITP support is awarded through annual competition and is available to Ph.D. students in any of the GSBS Doctoral Degree Programs.

Transdisciplinary Training In Cardiovascular Research

Principal Investigator(s): Catarina Kiefe PhD, MD and Jane Freedman, MD
Project End Date: 7/31/2026

The aims of our program are to: i) Establish a cardiovascular research training program across basic, clinical, and population health disciplines geared towards translating research into effective clinical practice and policy, as well as generating new questions spanning the entire spectrum of cardiovascular disease (CVD) research; ii) Recruit pre-and post- doctoral trainees resulting in a diverse trainee pool with respect to sociodemographic characteristics, clinical background, and disciplinary perspective; iii) Provide trainees with the individual mentoring, academic training, and technical skills necessary to ensure their success as independent investigators as well as contributors to team science; and iv) Provide “hands on” research experience within transdisciplinary teams that builds on the strengths of the current environment of linkages between UMMS Departments, Centers, and Institutes.

Training in Immunology and Microbiology

Principal Investigator(s): Lawrence Stern, PhD
Project End Date: 6/30/2025

The Immunology & Microbiology Program (IMP) is in part supported by a National Institutes of Health graduate student training grant, entitled Training in Immunology and Virology (NIH/NIAID T32 AI-007349-24, Raymond M. Welsh-PI). It provides one to two years of fellowship support to IMP graduate student trainees interested in the fields of immunology and/or virology and training in the laboratories of one of about 25 designated faculty mentors listed on the training grant. The fellowships consist of salary support and a modest budget for travel and research expenses. Student trainees are selected between their second and third year of graduate studies and after successful completion of qualifying exams. Students must be American citizens or green card holders, and they are selected based on their academic performance at UMMS.  This competitive training grant is now in its 25th year of funding, reflecting the quality of training in immunology and virology sponsored by the IMP at UMMS.

J: NRSA Training Core

Principal Investigator(s): Kate Lapane, PhD
Project End Date: 5/31/2025

The UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science (UMCCTS) and UMMS Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences offers a Pre- and Post-doctoral Fellowship (TL1) Training Program located at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) - an emerging leader in translational research to move laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients. UMMS is a member of the national Clinical and Translational Science Award consortium, receives federal research funding exceeding $307.6 million, and is home to the leading research journal Medical Care. Our world-renowned faculty has received honors from the Institute of Medicine, the American Statistical Association, the National Academy of Inventors, and the American Medical Informatics Association. Affiliated programs, centers and institutes include the Diabetes Center of Excellence, the Meyers Primary Care Institute, the Program in Molecular Medicine, the RNA Therapeutics Institute, MassBiologics, the Institute for Applied Life Sciences, to name a few. Learn More

IMSD at the University of Massachusetts Medical School

Principal Investigator(s): Brian Lewis, PhD and Kate Lapane, PhD
Email: imsd@umassmed.edu
Project End Date: 1/31/2025

The Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) is a predoctoral program funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The goal of this National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) program is to support educational programs that seek to increase diversity in the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research fields.

The UMMS IMSD, “Enhancing the success of underrepresented students in the biomedical sciences”, provides programming that facilitates the ongoing success of participating students. These efforts include:

  1. Summer onboarding courses that expose entering PhD students to the level of critical thinking, independent learning and communication skills required for success in the graduate curriculum.
  2. Enhanced faculty advising. Each IMSD trainee is assigned a faculty advisor for one-on-one advising through the end of the second year of PhD study.
  3. Career development and networking opportunities via –
    • Financial support to attend and present at national scientific and career development meetings
    • Networking events with UMMS leaders, as well as other local and regional leaders in academia and industry
    • Close interaction with the UMMS Center for Biomedical Career Development.

Through these efforts, the UMMS IMSD expects to positively impact the training experience of supported trainees. This impact will translate into higher completion rates, shorter time to degree, and successful transition to the career path of choice. Learn more

Prevention And Control of Cancer: Training for Change in Individuals and Systems

Principal Investigator(s): Stephenie Lemon, PhD and Judith Ockene, PhD, MEd, MA
Project End Date: 7/31/2024

PRACCTIS is a full-time NCI-funded post-doctoral fellowship training program designed to provide the next generation of cancer prevention and control researchers with the knowledge and skill sets to eliminate gaps in the translation of research to practice along the cancer continuum, including prevention of disease, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. Learn More

Training in the Molecular Basis of Autoimmunity and Autoinflammation

Principal Investigator(s): Katherine Fitzgerald, PhD and Ann Rothstein, PhD
Project End Date: 8/31/2023

Medical Scientist Training at UMMS

Principal Investigator(s): Silvia Corvera, MD
Project End Date: 6/30/2023

The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) funded MD/PhD program offers exceptional training opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career as a physician/scientist.  It combines the curriculum of the School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) to provide a structured foundation of diverse topics, with the flexibility necessary to meet the needs of the individual student. Learn More