Funded Training

The Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases funds a number of training opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees at UGA, and also for international trainees to travel to UGA.

NIH-funded Pre-doctoral and Postdoctoral Positions Available in Interdisciplinary Parasitology, Vector Biology, and Emerging Diseases

Yearly, CTEGD has positions available on a funded NIH T32 Training Grant for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows interested in training in a collegial, highly interactive training program in interdisciplinary areas of parasitology, vector biology, and emerging infections. CTEGD is comprised of 20 faculty members active in the areas of genetic, bioinformatics, molecular, biochemical, and cell biologic and immunologic aspects of parasites or host/parasite relationships. The research systems available for study include malaria, cryptosporidiosis, cyclosporiasis, American and African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, and toxoplasmosis, Ichthyophthiius multifilis (ICH) of fish, parasitic insects, schistosomiasis, cysticercosis, lymphatic filariasis, and culicine, anopheline and ixodid vectors.

Eligibility

Candidates for positions on this NIH-funded training grant must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Inquiries should be directed to Dr. Dennis Kyle, Director of CTEGD.

Postdoctoral Positions

The competition for the two postdoctoral position on the CTEGD T32 NIH Training Grant occurs each May and applications are done in conjunction with one of the faculty members of the CTEGD. Therefore, interested candidates should contact the faculty member with whom they would like to pursue postdoctoral training and then, in consultation with the faculty member, the candidate should develop an application that will be evaluated by the CTEGD Training Grants Committee. The application needs to include the following items:

  • Your complete CV
  • A letter from you describing your interest in CTEGD and your future plans
  • A letter from your proposed CTEGD mentor
  • 2 letters of reference
  • The deadline for submission of an application is in March of each year, with the actual date being posted on our website several weeks in advance of the due date.

It is suggested that those interested in applying should visit faculty profiles, and then contact the PI or PIs with whom you have the most interest in working, and pursue the possibilities based on your interests and their options.

  • You must be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • Salary for the postdoctoral position is determined by the salary scale published by the NIH each year for such positions (information for 2015).
  • As with all training grant positions, this is a one year award with the possibility of a second year based on performance and training grant contingencies.
  • Since this is a NIH/NRSA training grant, there is a pay-back requirement involved, and a completed Payback Agreement (PHS Form 6031) needs to be submitted for each postdoctoral trainee. This form and a discussion of the pay-back provisions can be found here. This payback is often satisfied by continued research employment following one’s training period.
  • While postdoctoral scholars on the CTEGD Training Grant will receive most of their training through their specific research projects with their mentors, being on the T32 Training Grant does carry with it some participatory obligations within CTEGD. As outlined in the original grant application, these are:
    • Regular participation in the CTEGD RIP seminar series
    • Participation in the CTEGD Research Ethics Seminar or an equivalent participation in another suitable series on responsible research practices
    • Auditing the Global Perspectives in Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases course.

At the end of the first year on the Training Grant, and prior to leaving the program, should that be at a later time, postdoctoral trainees will prepare a progress report containing a self-evaluation and present it to their mentor. Within two weeks the mentor will review it, make additional comments as needed, sign and returned it to the trainee. The trainee will then present the progress report to the Program Director for discussion. The progress report will be evaluated by the Program Director and considered by the CTEGD Training Grant Committee if an additional year’s funding is requests. This process is designed to assist you and the Training Grant in monitoring progress and offering assistance when deemed potentially useful.

Predoctoral Positions

The competition for the five predoctoral positions on the CTEGD T32 Training Grant occurs each May and applications are done in conjunction with your faculty advisor. Interested graduate students should be at least in their 2nd year of study when applying.

Eligibility:

  • To be eligible trainees must be US citizens or Permanent Residents.
  • Candidates must be working in a CTEGD laboratory.
  • All trainees must be willing to participate regularly in CTEGD activities, such as Research in Progress sessions and Annual Symposium.
  • Predoctoral trainees must take the courses Global Perspectives in Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases (MIBO/PBHL/IDIS/BHSI 8260) and Biology of Parasitism (CBIO 8500).
  • All trainees must be trained in the responsible conduct of research (courses available are GRSC 8550, VETM 8550, CBIO 8080 or Gene 8650).
  • If possible, predoctoral trainees must be willing to participate in a “Capstone Experience”, and show interest in continuing their research training in an area of parasitology. They should intend to continue in this field.

Application Process

Application material should be submitted as a single PDF.

  • A cover letter from the applicant highlighting career goals and her/his willingness to comply with the above stipulations. Please, include an explanation of how the T32 fellowship would contribute to achieving career goals. (1-2 pages).
  • A biosketch following the NIH format highlighting education (dates, locations, GPAs), research experience, presentations, publications, and sources/amounts/dates of assistantships or fellowships. Predocs may include grad level courses taken and grades earned. (2 pages)
  • A research proposal of 2 pages (single-spaced) in length plus bibliography.
  • Mentors should submit a nomination letter, a training plan for the candidate and a list of current support available for the candidate’s project. A biosketch is acceptable as long as it includes the available funding for the student’s project.
  • Candidates who apply from outside CTEGD to join the laboratory of a CTEGD member should include, in addition to the materials described above, two additional letters of recommendations.
Past and Present Trainees
 Laboratory Trained InResearch TopicCurrent Position
A. TelangBrownEffects of starvation on metamorphosis of mosquitoesAssistant Professor, Dept. of Biology, University of Richmond
Carla BlackColleyImmunology of human schistosomiasisEpidemiologist, CDC
Douglas PaceMorenoAquaporins of Toxoplasma gondiiAssistant Professor, University of California – Long Beach
John HarringtonHajdukMechansism of human innate immunity to African trypanosomesPostdoctoral Research Associate, UGA
Matthew CollinsTarletonRegulation of CD8+T cells in peripheral tissues during T. cruzi infection3rd Year Resident, Infectious Diseases, Boston University Medical Center
Charles RosenbergTarletonRole of immunodominant T cells in control of T. cruzi infectionPostdoctoral Fellow, Emory University School of Medicine
Tiffany WeinkpoffLammieEffect of filarial products on lymphatic endotheliumPostdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
Sharon AdamsMorenoPhospholipase C of Trypanosoma bruceiAssistant Professor, Emmanuel College
Ashley HartleyTarletonGeneration of attenuated parasites as experimental vaccines against Chagas diseaseSmall Animal Medicine & Surgery internship, University of Tennessee
Jenna OberstallerKissingerProtozoan parasites of the Apicomplexan phylumPostdoctoral Fellow, University of South Florida
Sarah ReiffStriepenMaintenance and replication of the apicoplast genome in ToxoplasmaPostdoctoral Fellow, UCSF School of Medicine
Eldin TalundzicPetersonExploring and characterizing DBL domain of the P. falciparum var2csa genePostdoctoral Fellow, CDC
Michael CiprianoStriepenEarly diverging Eukaryote Giardia lambiaIn training
Hilary DanzPetersonImpact of helminth infection on influenza mediated disease pathologyIn training
Briana FlahertyMooreExposure to Plasmodium falciparum modifies the function of human trophoblastORISE Fellow, CDC
Angela PackTarletonCD8+T cell responses during the chronic phase of T. cruzi infectionIn training
Whitney BullardSabatiniEpigenetic regulation in kinetoplastidsIn training
Ciara McKnightMorenoSignaling cascades in T. gondii
Phil YaoTarletonA transmission-blocking vaccine for Trypansoma cruziIn training
Heather BishopMuralidharanThe role of ER chaperones in the asexual and sexual development of the human malaria parasite, P. falciparum.In training
Tony SzempruchHajdukMitochondrial RNA biology, mechanisms of protein diversity and how these Trypanosoma brucei" alter host cells resulting in disease pathologyPost-doc, California Institute of Technology
A. J. StasicMorenoThe characterization of the Vacuolar H+-ATPase (V-H+-ATPase) and its role in the lytic cycle of the Toxoplasma gondii parasiteIn Training
Mattie PawlowicStriepenTo describe the biochemical pathways utilized for oocyst synthesis, determine how different components contribute to environmental resiliency, and to pinpoint potential weak points in the oocyst structure.In Training
mosquito

The CTEGD Training Innovations in Parasitologic Studies (TIPS) Fellowships

The CTEGD TIPS Fellowship program is funded by CTEGD to provide international research training opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees associates with CTEGD laboratories, and research training opportunities at UGA for advanced international trainees associates with CTEGD overseas research programs. Awarded through a competitive process, UGA CTEGD TIPS Fellows are expected to pursue research in international laboratories for periods of approximately 6 weeks to 3 months, and likewise international CTEGD TIPS Fellows should come to UGA to study in CTEGD laboratories for similar periods of time.

Application

The applicant must submit an application (not more than 2 pages in length) that they have written, with the assistance of their mentor, and this application should address the following issues:

  • The nature of the overall project of which this training is a part
  • The research that will be done during the training period requested
  • The time and location of the proposed training
  • The reason why this training should be done in this location
  • How the requested training will further the goals of the applicant
  • A proposed budget
  • The source of the funding that will support the actual research of the proposed training.

The applicant must also indicate their agreement to submit a written report of their training within 30 days of their return, and if they are a USA-based applicant to submit a presentation or poster abstract to the CTEGD annual symposium the year following their training.

The applicant must also include a letter of support (1 page should be sufficient) from the trainee’s direct mentor (either a CTEGD faculty member or the overseas PI collaborator of a CTEGD faculty member). This letter should address the quality of the applicant and the application, and how this research experience will contribute to the applicant’s research training.

The application must also include a letter of support (1 page should be sufficient) from the proposed mentor at the site of the proposed training (either a CTEGD laboratory or a CTEGD collaborating laboratory overseas). This letter must indicate a willingness to accept the applicant in the laboratory for a specified period of time, assurance that there are sufficient research funds available within the host laboratory, and a willingness to provide assistance to the applicant in arranging local living situations, as well as guidance and mentoring during the research at the proposed site of training.

Application Submission Deadline

Applications will be evaluated three times per year. Applications must be submitted to the Director of CTEGD by 5 pm US EST/EDT on the following deadline dates to be considered for awards that will be initiated 2 – 3 months following the deadline dates. If the deadline date falls on a weekend or UGA holiday, applications are due by 5:00 pm US EST/EDT on the next workday.

Deadline Dates:

  • April 1
  • August 1
  • December 1
Selection Process

A CTEGD subcommittee comprised of the CTEGD Director and two CTEGD faculty members selected for each evaluation session by the CTEGD Director will evaluate the applications. The CTEGD Director will not select a CTEGD faculty member who is sponsoring an application for that evaluation session. If the CTEGD Director is sponsoring one or more applicants he will not participate in the evaluations of the applications that involve his laboratory and he will appoint a third CTEGD faculty member to fill in for him on that review session.

Eligibility

A USA-based applicant must be a member of a CTEGD faculty member’s laboratory and have been in the laboratory long enough for the faculty member to vouch for, and therefore sponsor, their application. An overseas applicant must be a member of a laboratory that actively collaborates with a CTEGD faculty member, and have the full support of the Principle Investigator of that collaborating laboratory as well as the PI of the laboratory in which they wish to participate.

lab work with a microscope

Post-baccalaureate Training in Infectious Diseases Research (PREP)

PREP@UGA provides focused research training opportunities for students from underrepresented backgrounds. In this NIH-funded program, mentors work closely with recent post-baccalaureate students to provide them with the skills necessary to excel in biomedical graduate training programs. The goal is to equip those with the desire and motivation to become the next generation of biomedical researchers with the credentials required to achieve this. For more information and application procedure, visit PREP@UGA.

Colley teaching2009_1

Many of our faculty also participate in training programs offered by their academic departments.

NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Summer Program

The Department of Microbiology administers the Research in Prokaryotic Biology REU. They provide an intensive, 9 week hands-on laboratory research program for 10 undergraduates in the summer. Exciting projects will address diverse topics in Prokaryotic Biology. CTEGD faculty involved in this program include Drs. Daniel Colley, Boris Striepen, Rick Tarleton, and Silvia Moreno. For more information on this program, visit the Department of Microbiology’s REU website.

Silvia Moreno