Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Loyola Launches Master Program in Immunology, Infectious Diseases

Students will work with a number of nationally know scientists and physicians performing leading-edge, bench-to-bedside medical

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Registration is underway for Loyola University Chicago's new infectious disease & immunology master's degree program that will prepare graduates for challenging health-related positions in government, research and private industry.

Based at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood, Ill., the master's degree program is a two-year, research-intensive program taught by the scientists and physicians of the Infectious Disease & Immunology Institute and focuses on translational research.

"The program offers the opportunity for people who are interested in working in a health-care-related industry, particularly pharmaceuticals but also device-related manufacturers as well," said Dr. J. Paul O’Keefe, professor, department of medicine, division of infectious disease, Stritch. "Our graduates will also be fully qualified to work in government agencies that are involved in research administration and setting standards and regulation in the area of diagnoses and treatment of infectious diseases."

Degree candidates will benefit from working with a number of nationally known basic scientists and board-certified clinical scientists/physicians who are funded and committed to conducting research and generating results that enhance patient care and to teaching the next generation of medical professionals and researchers. The faculty is drawn from Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood and from the division of infectious diseases, the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Burn and Shock Trauma Institute, Oncology Institute, Cardiovascular Institute and the Neuroscience Institute at the Stritch School of Medicine. "Students who complete this program will have had a unique exposure by working and studying with scientists who explore basic cellular mechanisms and clinicians who seek to solve on-going problems in the clinic," said Karen Visick, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stritch.

Researchers at the Infectious Disease & Immunology Institute focus on bacterial and viral diseases such as HIV/AIDS, influenza and SARS. Researchers are also investigating the link between cancer and viruses and bacteria, as well as the relationship between animal and human viruses. In addition, researchers are exploring infection control and antibiotic resistance and the immunobiology of organ transplantation, inflammation and aging.

"It's a very diverse, interdisciplinary group," said institute co-director Katherine Knight, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stritch, "but all are focused on immunology and infectious disease, which are intimately related because immunology is the study of how the body responds to infectious agents."

Applicants must have a strong academic record, and they must possess a bachelor's degree in one of the biological sciences or in chemistry. Students must complete a graduate school application, available online at https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=loyolamc.

The application package must include a set of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended, a letter of intent (statement of purpose) describing why the applicant wishes to pursue formal training in translational research within the area of infectious disease & immunology, three letters of recommendation and scores from the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the past four years.

Letters of recommendation should be written by individuals who can speak to the applicant’s potential for success in a science/research-intensive program. The best sources for letters would be science faculty or science employers.

A MCAT exam score in lieu of the GRE will be considered. International applicants must have their transcripts evaluated and submit a score from the TOEFL exam. Admission to the program will be determined by a faculty admissions committee. The committee will assess the candidacy of each applicant, taking into consideration the whole application package. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to research.

For information on tuition and fees, http://www.stritch.luc.edu/depts/indii/Masters.htm.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.