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Welcome from the Director

Greetings and thank you for visiting our website and considering Johns Hopkins Immunology as a place to learn and be creative. As Director of the program I'd like to give you a brief overview of the program itself, its history, and its direction for the future.

The immunology program began in 1982 with two students and a handful of faculty. Since then we have grown to ~40 students (hard to pin down the number – they do graduate!) currently in training and 35 faculty. The faculty research interests span the entire gamut of Immunology, from basic mechanisms such as somatic hypermutation and gene rearrangement, molecular mechanisms of antigen processing and presentation, molecular signals for immune cell development and differentiation to translational research in the fields of cancer vaccines, allergy, infectious disease, immune engineering, autoimmunity and transplantation.

We are fortunate to have a number of centers of excellence in Basic Immunology and Cellular Engineering, Microbial Immunology, Autoimmunity and Cancer Immunology. This, combined with world-class facilities in genomics, genetics, proteomics, cell imaging and bioinformatics mean almost limitless opportunities for students to do cutting edge and creative Immunology research. It is indeed an exciting time for Immunology at Hopkins.

As director of a graduate training program, I am charged with the responsibility of ensuring that our students get the best education that we can possibly provide. Fortunately that is an easy task at an environment such as Johns Hopkins. We are able to offer one of the most rigorous and expansive scientific training arenas in the world. The large number of accomplished biomedical scientists, the focus on interdisciplinary training, the availability of state of the art research facilities and a collegial environment gives our students a unique opportunity to develop as the next generation of leaders in Immunology. What we are doing seems to be working! Recent program graduates have become post-doctoral research fellows in major labs all over the world. Many of our alumni have gone on to significant positions as successful independent researchers at universities, research institutes, government laboratories (NIH, CDC, etc) and biotechnology enterprises. Also, a number have distinguished themselves in the public policy, intellectual property and in scientific writing. All of our alumni have gone on to fulfilling careers in the biomedical field and for that I am grateful and very proud.

Please take the time to look over our program. I believe it can make a difference in your life and career. Also explore living in the great city of Baltimore and the State of Maryland where fun and fulfillment abound. I look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers to All

Joel Pomerantz

Overview and Mission

The Graduate Program in Immunology, in cooperation with the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, offers a program of study leading to the Ph.D. degree in immunology.

The mission of the Immunology Training Program is to provide outstanding pre-doctoral training in the field of Immunology. We seek to provide trainees with the ability to identify significant research questions in Immunology, to find solutions to these questions, to think broadly and creatively about biological problems, and to communicate ideas effectively to others. Our goal is to train the next generation of Immunologists who, through active scholarship contribute to the generation of new knowledge on the basic mechanisms of the immune system and the application of this knowledge to the understanding and treatment of disease. We accomplish this mission by selecting and supporting qualified trainees, providing relevant didactic coursework and through the participation of highly qualified faculty who are skilled mentors and accomplished researchers in Immunology.

Close interaction with faculty and a high faculty/student ratio are important features of the program. Students also interact closely with the large graduate student body at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the School of Public Health plus have access to the faculty and facilities of all the basic science and clinical departments.