The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) proposes to continue our NICHD-sponsored Child Health Research Career Development Award (CHRCDA) K12 Training Program. Our goal is to increase the number and effectiveness of subspecialty pediatricians with rigorous training and well developed skills in molecular techniques by identifying and training promising pediatric faculty to become successful physician-scientists, and by encouraging these individuals to address questions of fundamental importance to health and disease in children. Candidates for our program will be CHOP junior faculty either appointed from our outstanding pool of subspecialty fellowship trainees, who in turn are identified through national searches to identify the best and the brightest, or from candidates identified by broad recruitment strategies. We will support 3 Scholars per year who are graduates of Pediatric Subspecialty Fellowship Programs, and support each Scholar for an average of two years. Each candidate will choose a prospective mentor from a group of 44 mentors, 39 from CHOP (Pediatrics, Pathology, and Surgery) and five from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). These CHRCDA mentors were chosen by the following criteria: rigorous science and productivity in areas germane to pediatrics, a strong record of successful mentoring with collaborative research interactions, a strong record of extramural funding, and programmatic balance. Pediatric Scholars will conduct research as outlined in their formal research applications. They will have ready access to a comprehensive array of research core laboratories, and they will have ample opportunity to exchange ideas in both formal and informal settings with senior and other junior investigators. In the past 20 years, we have been highly successful in catalyzing the production of physician-scientists capable of conducting fundamental, independent research. We have trained 54 Pediatric Scholars from a wide range of subspecialties, and these Scholars have been highly successful in terms of publications, grant support, academic positions, and positions of leadership. Our Diversity Recruitment Officer leads a plan to recruit, retain, mentor, and inspire physician-scientists from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, or other disadvantaged persons who will assume prominent roles in pediatric medical research. Besides the Principal Investigator/Program Director, Training Director and Diversity Recruitment Officer, we have Internal Advisors and an External Advisory Committee that have the following responsibilities: 1) solicit and select applicants;2) monitor the progress of CHRCDA Pediatric Scholars;and 3) assess the overall effectiveness of the CHRCDA as a career development program. This grant takes advantage of the tremendous strengths of CHOP as an academic pediatric institution with an outstanding pool of subspecialty fellows, a large number of experienced mentors, and cutting edge research programs. CHOP and Penn provide a very comprehensive, well-supported and resource-intense environment, as well as a proven track record of training basic and translational academic investigators to become independent physician-scientists.
To increase the number and effectiveness of subspecialty pediatricians with rigorous background and skills in basic and translational research. In turn, these individuals speed the transfer of knowledge gained through studies in basic and translational science to clinical applications that will benefit the health of children. The goal o the CHRCDA is to identify, train and mentor promising pediatric faculty to become successful independent physician-scientists by encouraging them to address questions of fundamental importance to health and disease in children.
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