The lack of investigators with the skills and clinical knowledge required effectively investigating benign urological disorders and identifying improved methods of diagnosis and treatment has been identified as a critical need by the NIH and Institute of Medicine. In particular, there is a lack of MDs and PhDs with the skills necessary to establish successful careers as independent researchers capable of translating research findings to clinical practice. The University of Wisconsin (UW) is uniquely suited to provide this training. Our training program will benefit substantially from a close and enthusiastic partnership with the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR). ICTR is the academic home responsible for implementing programs supported by the Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (CTSA) competitively renewed at the UW. It is a stated goal of the ICTR KL2 training program to include recipients of other institutional or independent K awards in career development activities of the ICTR KL2 program. The resources of the ICTR are manifold and will provide a foundation for our planned recruiting, training, and educational activities. The ICTR has an active KL2 program that currently supports 19 trainees, and these individuals, combined with 3 trainees in the K12 program, constitute a critical mass that will benefit from well-established programs of training and mentoring. Trainees will have the option to pursue graduate degrees or certificates in Clinical Investigation. We will also combine efforts with ICTR to increase the number of underrepresented minorities and disadvantaged individuals choosing to pursue postdoctoral training. There will be synergy between the proposed K12 program and the Educational Enrichment Program described in the recent P20 award for which Dr. Bushman (co-PI of current proposal) is the PI (1 P20 DK097826-01; Urinary Biomarkers of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) in Men). Further, we are preparing an application for an O'Brien Center award, in accordance with the December 14, 2012, submission deadline for which Dr. Bushman will serve as PI. In summary, this K12 program incorporates excellent trainers in a variety of disciplines who will prepare trainees for outstanding careers as independent researchers investigating problems of significant relevance to benign urology.
Benign urological disorders such as urinary tract infection, overactive bladder, incontinence, and benign prostatic hypertrophy affect millions of Americans annually, resulting in well over a billion dollars in health care costs. This program will provide training that prepares investigators to establish independent careers of research that will address these highly significant health issues.
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