International experiences also bring students from foreign countries to train
at the U-M
Photo: Courtesy Alice Telesnitsky
Will a Pacific Islander develop a more effective cholera vaccine? Will a Caribbean
learn how to regulate immune responses to dengue? Will an Eastern European discover
a better tuberculosis drug?
Will an African cure AIDS?
Programs like the Michigan Infectious Disease International Scholars (MIDIS)
could help answer those questions. The program provides basic biomedical research
training to students from disease-endemic nations — students whose personal
convictions and experiences make them unusually dedicated to the war on infectious
The MIDIS program, headed by Alice Telesnitsky, Ph.D., associate professor
of microbiology and immunology, has hosted researchers from all over the world.
Clement Ndongmo, for example, was born in Cameroon and graduated from the University
of Yaounde in biological science, then embarked on a career as a medical laboratory
scientist investigating HIV/AIDS. After graduate work at the University of Oslo
in Norway and a fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control, Ndongmo came
to the U-M as part of the international scholars program. “I joined the
Telesnitsky lab to study how these recombinant viruses are generated in single
cycle as well as spreading infection recombination assays,” Ndongmo says.
“I’m particularly interested in non-homologous recombination by
transduction of cellular genes.
“The people in the lab are friendly and interactive, creating an environment
very conducive to good, productive science,” he says. “The opportunity
to work at Michigan is extremely rewarding.”
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