Immunology Ph.D. Program
About the Immunology Program
The Immunology Graduate Program provides a broad-based education in the strategies and techniques of immunological research that prepares students for a broad range of career opportunities. Faculty members, drawn from both basic science and clinical departments of the medical school, offer research training opportunities in a variety of topics, including:
- Molecular immunology
- Cellular immunology
- Immunology of infectious diseases
- Autoimmune and inflammatory diseases
- Tumor immunology
Students work collaboratively across disciplines, which creates an environment for developing innovative strategies for researching complex health challenges.
Program faculty offer advanced course work in cellular and molecular aspects of immune system development, activation, and function, clinical immunology, and immunology of infectious disease. Works in progress seminars, journal clubs, and a course in grant writing provide students ample opportunities to hone their oral presentation and writing skills.
Students interested in joining the Immunology Ph.D. program should apply to the interdisciplinary umbrella program within the Division of Basic Science. First-year students complete a core curriculum that includes a core course, three or four laboratory rotations, and training in the responsible conduct of research. Students who perform satisfactorily in the first semester core course are qualified to enter the Immunology Graduate Program.
Message from the Program Chair
Chandrashekhar Pasare, Ph.D.
Louise W. Kahn Scholar in Biomedical Research
Graduate School: Ph.D., National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, India, 2000
Postdoctoral Training: Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
The immune system plays a critical role in protecting the body from a variety of insults including microbial pathogens, noxious toxins, and helminth parasites. The immune system can also cause tissue destruction as a result of auto-immunity and chronic inflammation. In normal individuals, the destructive power of the immune system is regulated by various suppressive mechanisms. Past efforts have led to successfully harnessing of the immune system to eradicate several deadly infectious diseases. Studies continue to develop new vaccines against several new pathogens. Recent efforts have led to boosting the immune system to fight several cancers and suppressing key molecules to treat autoimmunity. Many challenges still exist and understanding the intricate immune network that balances host immunity against pathogens and tolerance against self-antigens is critical to solving problems posed to the immune system by threats both internal as well as external.
Founded in 1975 by Dr. Wayne Streilein, the Immunology Program at UT Southwestern was one of the first interdisciplinary and interdepartmental graduate training programs in immunology in the country. Today, our award-winning faculty focuses their research efforts on important immunologic problems that have direct impact on treating human diseases such as arthritis, HIV, multiple sclerosis, infectious diseases, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, and many forms of cancer. The goals of the Immunology Program are to provide the highest caliber training experience that incorporates the latest technologies and multidisciplinary approaches to uncovering the mysteries of the immune system.