This is a renewal application for a mentored training program for pediatric subspecialty faculty interested in basic research careers. The program offers a 1- to 3-year experience dedicated to training in cell and molecular biology research that is relevant to child health for 4 Scholars per year and is designed to serve as a launch for a career as a NIH R01-funded pediatric physician scientist. The mentoring faculty includes 21 outstanding basic researchers who have a distinguished record of research contributions and mentoring. The philosophical emphasis of this mentoring experience is fundamentals of the scientific method combined with the highest standard of excellence for rigor and integrity. Each of the Scholars is expected to carry out a challenging research project in the laboratory of one of the faculty mentors leading to publications as well as an application for their own K08, K99/R00 or R01 grant. The Department of Pediatrics at Pitt has one of the fastest growing pediatric research programs in the country and is based on a new Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC campus with the new 300,000-square-foot CHP Rangos Pediatric Research Building. Follow-up from the initial term of the CHRC program at Pitt (1992-1997) shows that 4 of the 8 Scholars are now R01- funded professors and 3 of these are division chiefs. Two other graduates are full professors involved in NIH-funded research as co-investigators. Of the 6 scholars that have graduated from the second term of the program (2007-present), 5 have already competed successfully for NIH (or equivalent) funding as a PI, including one R01, 3 K awards and 1 RWJ Foundation Minority Mentored Scholar Award. Over the last 10 years the Department has used its own resources to support a similar experience for 10 additional junior faculty (CHP Scholars), all of whom have competed successfully for, or moved forward towards, independent funding (3 R01, 1 K99/R00, 4 K08/K23, 1 R21 and 1 Gates Foundation). Based on these characteristics and results, we believe that this program provides a powerful team of mentors and intellectually-rich environment that will inspire junior faculty in pediatric subspecialties and provide them with the background to become the next generation of successful child health researchers.
All of the training experiences in this program involve research on mechanisms of human diseases including neurodevelopmental disorders, inborn errors of metabolism, congenital anomalies, infections, shock, cancer, cystic fibrosis, hypertensive kidney disease, transplant tolerance, immune disorders, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and disorders of the premature newborn.
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