Contact: Daniel J.J. Carr, Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org
Project: Ocular HSV-1 Vaccine
Suitability: Graduate Student or MD/PhD student
Description: This project involves characterization of a novel vaccine against ocular herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection using a mouse model. Specifically, the student will focus on the efficacy of the vaccine in terms of mechanistically defining the factors/pathways associated with the maintenance of avascularity, clarity, and innervation of the cornea following challenge with the virus. The student will also become proficient in assessment of visual acuity in vaccinated mice challenged at times post vaccine to determine the temporal vs longitudinal efficacy of the vaccine. It is anticipated the successful culmination of the project along with passing coursework and the departmental qualifying exam will meet the requirements for the PhD degree in the Department of Microbiology/Immunology.
Role: The student will be trained by other graduate students, postdoctoral fellow, and preceptor familiar with the project to develop the necessary skill set to formulate hypotheses, design experiments, generate data, and establish a working novel and creative thesis. The student will become familiar with animal husbandry as this project requires a substantial in vivo effort using mice. As the student progresses, he/she will be expected to communicate findings in the form of abstracts and presentations at local, national, and international forums as well as the generation of publications including peer-reviewed manuscripts and reviews/book chapters.
Weekly work: It is anticipated upon successful completion of the qualifying exam, the student will work as required to accomplish the goals set forth by the mentor and student indicated in the individual development plan. This work includes weekly informal presentations and 2-3 formal presentations/year.
Length of anticipated involvement: PhD students that enter the program average between 3.5 – 4.5 years in this lab (includes 1st year of graduate school). It is anticipated MD/PhD students will take 2-3 years to complete project upon entering the lab.
Presentation/Publication: It is anticipated the work will generate scholarly publications in high impact, peer-reviewed journals with an emphasis in immunology, vaccine design/development, and/or ophthalmology.