The Enrichment Program (EP) for the Center is designed to accomplish 2 major goals. First the EP will foster collaboration between Center members and with out-of-field investigators. Second, the EP will disseminate research-related information to innate
immunity in the GI tract and liver to a worldwide audience. To achieve these goals, the EP is divided into 5 key components: 1) a seminar series, 2) research in progress meetings, 3) a mentoring program, 4) an annual “out of the box” workshop,
and 5) an annual Center retreat.
The focused nature of this Center on innate immunity dictates the overriding need to support, transform, catalyze, and integrate basic and translational research activities on the CUSOM campus. While the CUSOM campus clearly is populated with wide and
deep expertise in this topic, a unifying program to harness and integrate these investigators is presently non-existent. This EP will bridge this chasm and provide a number of venues to foster the collaborations between established and new investigators
who may or may not have previously participated directly in innate immunity research. These collaborations will lead to submission of new grant applications, development of novel technologies and publications of innate immunity research.
Short Description of the Components of the Enrichment Program
Brief descriptions of the components of the EP are presented below. Each component will be adjusted and revised annually during the meeting of the Executive Committee and External Advisory Board (EAB). The goal of these meetings will be to assess the most successful and least successful aspects of the EP, particularly to fostering development of interdisciplinary and collaborative research focusing on GI and hepatic innate immunity. Each component will provide integration with each Center Program and seek to engage basic, translational and clinical research scientists at the AMC.
- Seminar Series
Since no current research series exists focused on gastrointestinal and hepatic innate immunity on the AMC, this Seminar Series is necessary to provide researchers with state of the art research on a variety of topics related to this topic. High quality presentations to the AMC research community will enlighten them on current research in the Center and availability of expertise and resources within the Center Programs. This seminar series will foster collaborative research that stimulates grant submissions and new publications.
- Research in Progress
The Research in Progress meetings are necessary to provide junior investigators in the Center with a highly interactive forum to present their research findings at early stages of development. These meetings provide especially valuable feedback in an open and honest format. Insight from research colleagues within and outside of their expertise in the Center provides a safe and objective forum to identify voids in their research and available resources within the Center Programs.
- Mentoring Program
Mentoring of junior investigators is a key component to their professional success. Within the Center Program pool of this Center, 50% of investigators (30 of 60) are at the Assistant Professor or below level of their career development. In this regard, 30 Members exist as an experienced and well-connected resource for the junior investigators. This intangible resource is critical for the junior investigators to take advantage of in a number for venues as listed below. As word of this program spreads, it may contribute to new investigators joining Center research programs, thus increasing new investigators and research in innate immunity. Components of the mentoring program will include: a) “Fireside chat” series; b) Speaker skills series: c) Webinar research series.
- Center “Out of the Box” Workshop
The purpose of this workshop will be to develop a thematic topic which encourages Center Members and Associate Members to think “out of the box” on an interdisciplinary question relevant to innate immunity in the GI tract and liver. This hands-on research workshop will provide direct interactions that are key to improving research skills, and could range from a “think tank” to the testing of an in vitro / in vivo model. This workshop will be essential to develop in-depth thinking around innovative new techniques, multi-disciplinary interactions incorporating new and established investigator to the development of potentially new lines of research related to innate immunity.
- Annual Center Retreat
An annual retreat is necessary to showcase key advances in innate immunity research, especially those that have arisen from the research successes founded in the Center programs. This retreat will provide an outstanding venue to display the research success of the Center, display the talents of junior investigators and new to the field investigators and promote innate immunity research with a keynote address. This will provide a campus-Center Programs.