The University of Michigan Child Health Research Career Development Award (CHRCDA) program entitled "Advancing Child Health through Cellular and Molecular Biology" is designed to support the research career development of promising young pediatric investigators. The focus of this research program is to foster the research programs of young pediatric investigators whose work is designed to advance our understanding of biological systems and disease processes in child health. The program places particular emphasis on three fundamental areas of research inquiry-cellular and molecular biology, genetics and developmental biology, cellular growth, host defense and immunology, and more recently, bioimaging and biomarker disease discovery and pathogenesis. The specific goals of the program are: (a) to provide junior pediatric physician- scientists with the infrastructure, technologies and opportunity to study basic mechanisms and the pathogenesis of diseases that impact children's health;(b) to provide a unique opportunity for junior pediatric physician-scientists to acquire new, innovative and state-of the art scientific expertise in cellulr and molecular biology and the associated bioinformatics/systems biology approaches;(c) to provide junior pediatric physician-scientists with the research understanding and bench research skills required to establish a successful independent research program;and (d) to recruit talented junior pediatricians with particular efforts directed towards minority and woman candidates to careers in academic pediatrics. To achieve these goals, we have assembled senior faculty from diverse biomedical research fields to serve as research mentors for our trainees. The program has established an advisory committee to oversee the selection of CHRCDA scholars and the program has put in place two recruitment officers to assist in the identification and recruitment of minority and women candidates. The CHRCDA scholars participate in intensive training programs in cellular and molecular biology as well as a mentorship program designed to ensure their continued research development. This program has contributed to the training of more than 40 pediatric-investigators who have gone on to establish successful research programs designed to improve our understanding of childhood disease as well as develop new therapeutic approaches to treat childhood disease.
The University of Michigan Children's Health Research Center program attracts accomplished pediatricians and subspecialty pediatric providers to train under the guidance of accomplished biomedical scientists. These pediatricians gain understanding and experience in scientific methods, tools and technologies that they then apply to study diseases that afflict children and young adults. The program has been highly successful in attracting accomplished physicians into careers in academic pediatrics.
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