The twelve-month Master of Science in Infectious Disease and Global Health (MS-IDGH) program at Cummings School was created to address a critical need.
Emergence of new or increasingly virulent infectious agents, antimicrobial resistance, and the risk of deliberate dissemination of biothreat agents are serious evolving threats to human health. With the exponential increase of human and animal populations, international travel, and the shrinking of wildlife habitat, the risk of pathogen spillover from wild to domestic animals and humans is a serious public health crisis—as evidenced by COVID-19, Ebola, SARS, avian influenza, Nipah virus, and MERS. These threats have become a major focus for research institutions and for disease surveillance, investigation, and control by governments and international agencies.
The MS-IDGH program equips students with an in-depth understanding of infectious diseases through a global health lens and is strategically located at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Faculty devoted to the investigation of human infectious diseases help students build careers in basic and applied research and prepares them to be more competitive for professional and doctoral-level programs.
Graduates are applying the expertise earned through this degree to vital work in academia, the biopharma industry, national and international organizations, and biodefense or biocontainment environments.
The program features many unique elements:
- Experienced teaching faculty with impressive expertise and hands-on experience with infectious agents responsible for serious diseases in humans, including those transmitted from animals to humans (zoonotic) or those relevant to environmental health.
- Innovative and collaborative infectious disease research highlighting extraordinary national and international efforts by faculty and scientists within the program to improve human and animal health around the globe.
- An interdisciplinary network of related areas: infectious disease, global health, conservation medicine, public health, and wildlife medicine.
- A rigorous and comprehensive curriculum focused on developing a deep understanding of human and zoonotic infectious diseases of global importance. A host of different subjects—such as immunology, vaccinology, molecular biology, global health, biosafety, food safety, bioinformatics, biotechnology, and epidemiology—are explored through didactic lectures, case studies, and journal clubs.
- Intensive applied training to gain mastery of animal models and laboratory techniques in molecular biology, biotechnology, immunology, microbiology, and epidemiology to understand their applications to solving real-world problems, such as developing diagnostics, vaccines, drugs, and immunotherapies.
- A course of study with strong emphasis on the development of leadership, analytical, and presentation skills through critical analysis and presentation of the scientific literature, proposal writing, biosafety, research ethics, and laboratory management.
- Well-equipped, cutting-edge laboratories, including an on-site BSL-3 laboratory, and proximity to the epicenter of biotechnology research.
- Substantial funding (> $150 million in last 20 years) to faculty from federal agencies and foundations (including NIH, USAID, DOD, Gates Foundation) as well as corporate sources for research on pathogenesis, detection, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and control of infectious agents/diseases and biothreats.