On the cover of J. Biol. Chem  vol. 289932): Quiescent murine lung microvascular endothelial cells immunostained for the adherens junction protein VE-cadherin (green), its adaptor p120 (red), and DAPI (blue). Stimulation with proinflammatory agonists leads to altered organization of these proteins resulting in increased monolayer permeability that is exacerbated by CRADD protein deficiency. CRADD helps maintain endothelial integrity by acting as a negative regulator of the inflammatory response. For details see the article by Qiao et al., pages 21973–21983.

The Immunobiology of Blood and Vascular Systems Training Program (IBVSTP) is focused on inflammation as the major mechanism of diseases caused microbial, autoimmune, and metabolic insults. These diseases alter blood and vascular systems.. Our goals are to teach and coach our trainees in new understanding of inflammation-mediated mechanism of diseases.   Our faculty preceptors are representing Vanderbilt’s Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Cell and Developmental Biology, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, Pharmacology, and Cancer Biology. We are harnessing the advances in immunobiology, cell biology of blood cells and vascular wall endothelial biology, genomics and proteomics as strategic approaches. The Program continues to provide a unique research training opportunity for postdoctoral and predoctoral trainees interested in the mechanisms of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases of blood, lung, and cardiovascular systems. We continue focusing on the development of "hands-on" experience of our trainees at bench and bedside with special emphasis on the design and execution of projects in the research fronts that cover the inflammatory and immune mechanisms affecting the blood, lung, and cardiovascular systems. Since the inception of our Program in 2001, our fundamental  training objectives remain the same: assure scientific competence, nurture creativity and technological courage, and promote critical thinking, collegiality, communication, and compassion toward the sick and needy. We also stress the value of self-directed study and effective time management. We strive to identify translational dimension of our trainees’ projects.

The IBVSTP faculty forms the following “Affinity Groups” connected by the following themes:

  • Innate Immunity and Inflammation
  • Microbial Inflammation
  • Autoimmune Inflammation
  • Metabolic Inflammation
  • Vascular Inflammation
  • Genomic, Proteomic and Metabolomic Approaches to Understanding Inflammation
  • Innovative  Approaches to the Treatment of Inflammation

Innovative training in these fronts is offered to  4 predoctoral trainees and 4 postdoctoral trainees supported by the IBVS Training Program.  Predoctoral trainees accepted by the Vanderbilt Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) are eligible for IBVSTP support pending evaluation of their first year of graduate studies by the IBVSTP Steering Committee. Postdoctoral trainees holding Ph.D. and/or M.D. degrees are appointed pending nomination by a participating faculty preceptor and the decision of the IBVSTP Steering Committee.

Inflammation Forum, is a monthly gathering of IBVSTP faculty and trainees who have an excellent opportunity to present their research projects and receive valuable feedback from the assembled faculty, as well as other trainees.  Additionally, new Program Faculty also present their research for the Forum upon joining the Program.  This Forum is designed to emphasize Inflammation as the major mechanism of multiple diseases that affect blood and vascular systems, with a continuing spotlight on discovery and translation.  The Inflammation Forum is co-sponsored by Interdisciplinary Training Program in Rheumatology and Vascular Biology Center.