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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 19, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 35
JHU Biotech Program, U.S. Army Enter Collaborative Relationship

By Ken Schappelle
School of Arts and Sciences

Johns Hopkins and the U.S. Army have agreed to work together to train scientists to develop vaccines and medicines to defend against biological attacks. Students accepted into the program will study part-time to earn Johns Hopkins master of science in biotechnology degrees with concentrations in biodefense; simultaneously, they will work for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, located at Fort Detrick, Md.

Under a five-year agreement between Johns Hopkins' Advanced Biotechnology Studies Program and USAMRIID, graduate students will be employed under the Army's Student Career Experience Program and will be eligible for Army reimbursement of their Johns Hopkins tuition.

"Based on a long history of excellence in biotechnology research and education at both institutions, this is an invaluable cooperative effort that will significantly enhance the educational opportunities of our biodefense students," said Richard McCarty, chair of the Advanced Biotechnology Studies program in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences' Advanced Academic Programs. "We hope it will lead to future interactions and joint scientific research between our respective faculty and scientists."

Johns Hopkins advisers will work with students to select an appropriate course structure that will capitalize on the resources being offered by USAMRIID, such as research staff and laboratory facilities.

USAMRIID does basic and applied research on biological threats to develop vaccines, drugs and tests to protect soldiers, but much of the science it produces is also applied to civilian medicine.

"USAMRIID is very excited about sponsoring these master's students and offering them the opportunity to work at USAMRIID on vaccines and therapeutics against extremely interesting pathogens," said Peter Hobart, USAMRIID's science director. "This is one more manifestation of the institute's keen interest in working closely with colleges and universities to train the next generation of scientists."


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