The mission of the John Ring LaMontagne Center for Infectious Disease is to bridge the gap between basic and translational research into microbial and viral pathogenesis. These efforts include characterizing and predicting the spread of infectious diseases through populations, and supporting programs to define the human and animal responses to challenge by infectious agents and how human genetics impact susceptibility to infection. Our primary goals are:
- To create a center of national prominence in infectious diseases.
- To provide networking opportunities for infectious disease research laboratories.
- To synergize infectious disease efforts on campus and provide a focal point for outreach to the Austin medical community. With the new medical school on campus, it is essential that UT Austin establish an infectious disease-focused group to interface with clinicians and provide research and teaching support. We anticipate providing infectious disease research training to health professionals, including medical students and residents. Such ties can be mutually beneficial, and will provide our pre-medical and public health undergraduate students with venues to pursue research and career development.
- To provide an environment where undergraduates and professional trainees develop critical research skills through participation as investigators in original projects. This will include fostering Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) Streams in infectious disease research, and application for T32 NIH training grants to support graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in infectious disease.
- To stimulate LaMontagne Center researcher outreach to external audiences, and to provide a rational voice for interfacing with the public and the media on frequently complex issues relating to infectious disease. In this regard, we anticipate having a regular newsletter that both promotes campus research and provides insights into disease that will be of interest to the general public.
- To provide an organizing center for translational opportunities, including providing access to animal models for testing prophylactic and therapeutic countermeasures, for developing strategies for research translation into the clinic, and for improving clinical and public health practices.
- To foster academic interest in infectious diseases through seminars at the interface of basic and clinical research.