Graduate Consortium in Infectious Diseases

Graduate Consortium in Infectious Diseases

The Graduate Consortium in Infectious Diseases is an interdisciplinary affiliation of students and faculty engaged in infectious disease research across the schools and programs of Harvard University.

The medical, social, and economic burden of infectious diseases remains one of the greatest challenges to public health worldwide.  Whether it is ongoing, large scale epidemics such as HIV, malaria or tuberculosis, or newly emergent agents such as avian influenza, these pathogens can and do have an impact on the very fabric of affected populations.  Without question, our greatest weapon against these infectious agents is a thorough understanding of both their biology, at the genetic, molecular, cellular, and organismic levels, and the mechanisms involved in the host response to them.
    
Harvard is uniquely positioned to address these issues in a comprehensive, interdisciplinary manner. Nearly every school within the University conducts research into some aspect of infectious diseases, including the School of Public Health, the Medical School, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Business School, and the Kennedy School of Government. Within the biological sciences, there is a particularly strong existing foundation of research endeavors that involve a critical mass of faculty and students spread across multiple programs, departments, and schools. These research programs make use of numerous model organisms, and there exists unparalleled expertise in examining all facets of host-pathogen interactions.

The Consortium in Infectious Diseases will build on the existing strengths of infectious disease research across schools at Harvard University and create new synergies for students and faculty alike. Under the umbrella of the Harvard Integrated Life Sciences program, the consortium will inform prospective students of the many opportunities available for graduate training in infectious disease research. It will also help foster a greater sense of community for current students working in infectious diseases irrespective of the department or program in which they are conducting their research.  

In addition, the consortium will generate a new focus on interdisciplinary graduate training in infectious diseases by bringing together faculty across schools to offer timely courses on contemporary issues in infectious diseases.