Antimicrobial Resistance (TPAMR)

Home Home Training Antimicrobial Resistance (TPAMR)

Program Director:
Cesar Arias, MD, PhD
Professor, Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease
UT Health

Program Co-Directors:
Kevin Garey, PharmD
Professor and Chair, Pharmacy Practice &Translational Research
University of Houston College of Pharmacy

E. Lynn Zechiedrich, PhD
Professor, Molecular Virology and Microbiology
Baylor College of Medicine

Program Administrators:
Karen Ethun, Executive Director, Gulf Coast Consortia/Keck Center

Vanessa Herrera, Assistant Director, Grant Programs, Gulf Coast Consortia/Keck Center

We are now accepting Round 2 Postdoctoral Applications (see ‘Application’ section below).
Round 2: Invited candidates are asked to fill out this application form and return it along with all other accompanying materials to Vanessa Herrera via email (herrera@rice.edu) by 11:59 pm CST  January 31, 2021.

Click HERE to watch a short overview of our  T32 Training Program.

Overview of AMR: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become one of the top public health priorities worldwide.  Our new, innovative, inter-disciplinary and multi-institutional AMR program will train the next generation of physicians, physician-scientists, PharmDs and PhD researchers on the complex, multifaceted and challenging problems that AMR presents.

Trainees will be immersed in the rich and fertile environment of the Houston Texas Medical Center and will interact at the interface of clinical practice, basic science, drug discovery, public health and hospital epidemiology. Our world-class AMR researchers, existing resources, institutional support, administrative organization and a collaborative, cross-disciplinary environment already in place offer the perfect platform for a high-quality training program encompassing 7 major biomedical research institutions:

  • University of Texas Health Science Center (UTH)
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDA)
  • Baylor College of Medicine (BCM)
  • University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB)
  • University of Houston College of Pharmacy (UH)
  • Rice University (RU)
  • Institute of Biosciences and Technology (IBT)

Our goal is to provide the training, skills, and tools needed to translate research findings into actionable items in the clinic and to translate patient-based observations back into the laboratory to counteract AMR in patients across the medical spectrum.

Click HERE to watch a short overview video about our  T32 Training Program.

Click HERE to learn about our  T32 Training Program.

This Training Program in Antimicrobial Resistance (TPAMR) addresses the critical need to train young postdoctoral researchers in multidisciplinary fields to acquire the appropriate tools and expertise to approach antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in a transformative and logical manner. TPAMR will provide clinical fellows, postdocs, and PharmDs with innovative training opportunities, including 1) rigorous grounding in AMR fundamentals, 2) intensive, co-mentored, multidisciplinary research experiences, 3) broad exposure to established and emerging areas of AMR, 4) strong career development training, and 5) opportunities for international research programs in AMR.

Length of Initial Training Appointment: One year (12 months). Trainees will have the opportunity for reappointment (total of two years) if progress is satisfactory. Tentative total training period for Next Cohort: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023.

Trainee Eligibility and Level

  • Must be US or Dual Citizen, or Permanent Residents at the time of application
  • Must be employed at one of the seven participating institutions
  • MDs, MD/PhDs, PharmDs will apply at the end of their first year in their program
  • PhDs will apply at the end of their first or second year as a postdoc in a TPAMR faculty research lab

 

Mentors and Co-Mentor Eligibility
Applicants will select ONE primary mentor and TWO secondary / co-mentors with complementary expertise, and from different participating departments and institutions.

Only faculty approved to participate in TPAMR may sponsor an applicant.  See TPAMR Training Faculty list here (see TPAMR Training Faculty).

Faculty interested in joining TPAMR and sponsoring an applicant must provide: 1) a biosketch with current funding and 2) a brief record of mentoring experience for postdoctoral fellows. This information will be reviewed by the TPAMR steering committee, and a decision for approval to join TPAMR will be made on a timely basis.  Please send an email stating interest and providing this information to Vanessa Herrera, TPAMR Administrator (Herrera@rice.edu).

Junior or early-stage faculty who participate in TPAMR but do not have federal funding may serve as primary mentor for an applicant provided the following: 1) the co-mentor (s) are currently senior faculty members of TPAMR; 2) at the time of the application, there are funds to support the trainee after the trainee is no longer supported by TPAMR, if necessary. Funding may be from institutional sources, such as start-up or departmental funding, or from the senior mentors. This funding information is required with the trainee’s application.

A primary mentor may sponsor only one applicant per application round and have a maximum total of 2 trainees appointed to TPAMR during the 5-year period.

 

Trainee Requirements during Training Period

  • Take TPAMR Foundations Course, offered annually each Fall (see Curriculum)
  • Conduct AMR research project (with mentor and 2 co-mentors with complementary expertise)
  • Take (audit) a biostatistics course or provide evidence of completion of a recent comparable course
  • Participate in mentorship of a predoctoral student in the UTHealth Infectious Disease fellowship program
  • Attend and present poster and research talk at TMC Annual AMR and Stewardship Conference (held early Spring; January 26-28, 2021)
  • Attend and present poster at Keck Annual Research Conference (held in Fall)
  • Attend weekly Keck Seminars, and AMR monthly seminars, journal club
  • Attend and present AMR research project progress at the annual progress review with the TPAMR Steering Committee
  • Attend and submit abstracts to regional and national meetings such as IDWeek and ASMMicrobe
  • Develop and review Individual Development Plan
  • Take workshops in Responsible Conduct of Research and Rigor and Reproducibility
  • Take career development seminars (minimum of 2 each year)
  • Write a career development proposal (NIH K award); may take grant writing workshops to prepare a proposal
  • Engage in post-training with the next cohorts of TPAMR trainees
  • OPTIONAL:  Participate in international rotations ( 1 month for clinical; 1+ month for research) at Universidad El Bosque in Colombia.

Benefits of Fellowship

By participating in this program, trainees will have a co-mentored project by mentors in complementary research areas to leverage their training and research in these diverse areas. Additionally, each appointment provides up to 24 months of NIH Postdoctoral stipend support (current levels will be used, per NIH FY2020), plus partial support for tuition, fees and health insurance (not fringe) and travel. The trainee’s primary mentor/department is responsible for the fringe, and the remainder of the stipend and health insurance (up to the institutional level). All NIH-Funded postdoctoral fellows are subject to the terms and conditions of the NRSA Payback Agreement

NEW – The application process is now divided into TWO steps.

Round 1: Fill out this form to determine your interest and suitability for the program (deadline November 1, 2020).

Round 2: Selected candidates will be invited to complete the formal application detailed below (deadline January 31, 2021).

APPLICATION TIMELINE
Deadline for Round 1:  Nov. 1, 2020
Selection of candidates invited for Round 2: Nov. 15, 2020
Deadline for Round 2 applications: January 31, 2021
Interview Day: February 26, 2021
Announcement of final candidate(s): March 5, 2021
Appointment Start Date: July 1, 2021

Trainees will have the opportunity for reappointment (total of two years) if progress is satisfactory.

Note: A primary mentor may sponsor only one applicant per application round and have a maximum total of 2 trainees appointed to TPAMR during the 5-year period.

The Gulf Coast Consortia is committed to providing equal opportunity in training for individuals with disabilities and individuals from racial and ethnic groups who are currently under-represented in STEM fields. We welcome applications from all qualified trainees, regardless of ethnicity, race, or disability status. All GCC member institutions are ADAAA compliant and have offices of disability support services that provide accommodations and support services to trainees, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Selecting your mentors:

  • Identify mentors who are (or will become) members of the TPAMR Training Faculty. Only faculty approved to participate in TPAMR may sponsor an applicant (see Mentor Eligibility Section above).
  • Junior or early-stage faculty may also serve as primary mentors, provided they meet the eligibility requirements (see Mentor Eligibility Section above). Current ESI faculty participating in TPAMR are: Jessica Galloway-Peña, PhD, Asst. Professor, Infectious Diseases, MDA; Blake Hanson, PhD, Asst. Professor, Center for Infectious Diseases, UTH School of Public Health; William Miller, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases, UTH; Truc Tran, PharmD, Division of Infectious Diseases, UTH.
    *NOTE: It is highly encouraged that mentors come from different departments and different institutions.

Components of the Formal Application (Invited Candidates only)

Items needed from others:

  1. Mentor Recommendation Letters. Primary mentor and co-mentors must follow the below format when preparing their respective support letters. Mentors are to email their letters directly to Vanessa Herrera, TPAMR Administrator (herrera@rice.edu.
  2. Two (2) additional Letters of Recommendation from people other than your mentors. The recommenders should email them directly to herrera@rice.edu. These letters must be received by the application due date. These recommendations are not required to be on letterhead or signed, as long as the name, title, department and institutional affiliation are included in the text. These recommenders may be former professors, employers, etc., and describe qualities that they observed in the applicant which qualify him/her to be a TPAMR trainee.

Mentor Recommendation Letter Instructions

Primary Mentors:
Describe your role in the applicant‘s proposed research project. Evaluate the applicant’s overall ability and likelihood of becoming a productive first quality researcher in this field. Include a brief statement about the mentor’s relationship with the applicant, how long you have known each other, and on what month/date s/he started as a postdoctoral research fellow in your group. Discuss the applicant’s written and oral presentation skills and his/her ability to work effectively within an interdisciplinary group.

Rate the applicant in the following categories.
(Suggested ranking options: Top 1%, top 5%, top 10%, top 25%, or top 50%)

  1. Overall academic and intellectual ability
  2. Creativity and ability to assimilate information from a variety of disciplines
  3. Rank relative to other trainees you have known at comparable stages of development in terms of overall potential for an interdisciplinary research career

IMPORTANT: The mentor’s current NIH Biosketch or Other Support document, which includes current award amounts and percent efforts, must accompany this support letter.

Co-Mentor(s):
Support letter must include a statement that clearly describes how the co-mentor’s involvement with this project will complement the applicant’s interdisciplinary research training experience. Describe the specific role the co-mentor will play in the proposed research.

Items needed from trainee applicant:
Email all the following items in one email to herrera@rice.edu:

  1. Fellowship Application form (download form). Components besides educational background and published papers include:
    • Project description
    • Mentoring and Training Plan
    • Career Goals
    • Curriculum – Complete the curriculum section with your proposed courses or workshops. Note: TPAMR requires a Foundations course, offered at UTHealth each fall.
    • International Component – Indicate if you are interested in pursuing the optional international component in Colombia.
    • Brief Individual Development Plan (IDP)
  2. CV or resume: Email to herrera@rice.edu a current resume or CV outlining your professional work experience and academic history, including the dates you received your degree(s).
  3. Transcripts are required from postdoctoral applicants: official copies are preferred, but unofficial copies will be accepted. Email the following as PDFs (not photos)
    • Undergraduate transcripts from all institutions you attended
    • Master’s degree transcript (if applicable)
    • Doctoral degree transcript, which includes a listing of courses attended (not just a diploma); documentation must also include the official receipt date of your doctoral degree (e.g. “conferred May 9, 2019”). If the transcript is in a foreign language, you must submit an English translation for all degrees; you may use a copy of the transcripts that you provided to your institution.
  4. Proof of US or Dual citizenship (birth certificate or passport; a driver’s license is not proof of citizenship) or Permanent Residency (“Green Card”): email a clear PDF scan (not a photo). You must already have received your Green Card to be eligible to apply. If a Permanent Resident is appointed to a fellowship, s/he must provide a notarized copy of the card to the GCC to submit to the agency. Inquire in your department about finding a Notary Public to do this.

Interviews:
Applications are reviewed, and selected applicants are invited to interview with the Program Directors and the TPAMR Steering Committee on February 26, 2021. All applicants will be notified via email whether or not they have been selected for an interview. Interviews are a total of 15 minutes (8-10-minute presentation + Q&A) and are held within one month of the application deadline. Interviews include a brief presentation of the research project, planned coursework, and mentoring plan.

*Mentors (primary and co-mentors) are expected to attend the interview in support of their trainee.

*See the section Instructions for Interviews for details about limits on time and number of slides.

TPAMR Instructions for Interviews

Selected applicants and their mentors will be invited for an interview before the TPAMR Program Directors and Steering Committee. All interviews will take place on one day, February 26, 2021. Mentors are expected to attend. All of the below should be in your presentation.

Prepare a brief oral presentation:

  • 10 minutes maximum, with a maximum of 6 PPT slides + title slide + acknowledgment slide.
  • Do not embed movies in your slides.
  • The interview will last a total of 15 minutes, including your 8-10 minute oral presentation, then questions from the reviewers.
  • Please practice so that you do not exceed this time limit (hint: do not get bogged down in the details of the experiments).
  • Aim to keep your presentation simple; you will be assessed on how well you can explain things concisely to a broad audience, as the TPAMR Steering Committee includes faculty from various disciplines related to AMR.

Your presentation should provide an overview of your proposed research project and should address the following:

  • the interdisciplinary nature of the project and the approaches you propose to use. Highlight the parts of your project that are novel.
  • the importance of your project to addressing the complex, multifaceted and challenging problems that AMR presents. This does not need to be lengthy or highly detailed, but it should be explicit. Oftentimes this may be obvious to you and others in your specific area, but it may not be clear to a diverse, interdisciplinary review group.
  • the roles that both your primary mentor and co-mentors will play in the proposed research / mentoring plan, especially how the mentors together will enable you to conduct research that could not be accomplished otherwise.
  • your timeline for required and elective courses/workshops – this should be addressed in your slides and reflect the actual semesters in which the courses/workshops are offered. Be sure you include all required parts, e.g. AMR Foundations course, Biostatistics, Responsible Conduct of Research, Rigor and Reproducibility, Grant Writing, etc.
  • your timeline for submitting a career development grant, such as K awards, K99/R00.
  • your interest in the optional international component at Universidad El Bosque in Bogata, Colombia.

The TPAMR Foundations Course is outlined in the PDF below. These lectures will be for 1 hour, twice weekly during the fall semester, at UTHealth. Dates: Trainees are expected to participate during their first year of appointment.  Certificates of completion will be provided.

TPAMR Foundations Course Outline

See the complete list of TPAMR Training Faculty HERE

Click HERE to meet our  T32 Training Program Leaders.

Our faculty were selected for their robust research programs as well as for the strength of their training and mentoring of young researchers.

Training faculty serving as primary mentors may sponsor only one applicant per application round and have a maximum total of 2 trainees appointed to TPAMR during the 5-year period. Faculty may serve as co-mentors for more than one applicant. Early Stage Investigators (ESI), or those who have secured K awards or are transitioning into tenure-track faculty positions, are encouraged to participate in TPAMR training activities.  We anticipate adding ESIs to the TPAMR training faculty once they have independent funding such as R01 or similar grants. Current ESI faculty participating in TPAMR are: Jessica Galloway-Peña, PhD, Asst. Professor, Infectious Diseases, MDA; Blake Hanson, PhD, Asst. Professor, Center for Infectious Diseases, UTH School of Public Health; William Miller, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases, UTH; Truc Tran, PharmD, Division of Infectious Diseases, UTH.

Faculty interested in joining TPAMR and sponsoring an applicant must provide: 1) a biosketch with current funding and 2) a brief record of mentoring experience for postdoctoral fellows. This information will be reviewed by the TPAMR steering committee, and a decision for approval to join TPAMR will be made on a timely basis.  Please send an email stating interest and providing this information to Vanessa Herrera, TPAMR Administrator (Herrera@rice.edu).

TPAMR Steering Committee

The steering committee will review and select candidates for appointment to TPAMR and monitor the educational programs and progress of TPAMR trainees.

Click here to meet our currently appointed trainees.

Click HERE to watch a short overview video about our  T32 Training Program.