This application requests continued funding for a Child Health Research Career Development Award (CHRCDA) center within the Department of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles/Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. The objective of our program is to develop the next generation of pediatric physician scientists by providing junior faculty pediatricians with 2 to 3 years of guaranteed 75% protected time for comprehensive and individualized basic research education, mentored laboratory training, and career development support. CHRCDA Scholars will be carefully selected from a pool of candidates recruited from internal training programs and national searches. Focused efforts to continue to attract women and underrepresented minority applicants will be a recruitment priority. Funds to support 3 Scholars per year are requested. The Chair of Pediatrics as principal investigator, two co-training directors, a recruitment officer, and Internal and External Advisory Committees will oversee our CHRCDA. Scholars will conduct approved research under the guidance of senior faculty mentoring teams, all of whom have an extensive history of research achievements focusing on basic and translational pediatric problems, an excellent record of extramural funding including current NIH grants, and documented success in mentoring research trainees. A cohesive research career development plan for each K12 Scholar is the cornerstone of our CHRCDA and each plan will have three components. The first component is an extensive laboratory based research mentoring experience designed to optimize basic and translational research interactions between the K12 Scholar and his/her mentor team. The second component consists of a series of interactive academic career workshops, presentations and seminars to provide each Scholar with information and guidance required for a successful academic career. The third training component is a formal research education curriculum customized to the unique and specific research goals, needs and interests of each Scholar. The goal of this component is to provide Scholars with the knowledge in methodologies, technologies, and bioinformatics needed for the successful conduct of innovative research. The program also creates opportunities for independent and collaborative multidisciplinary research and emphasizes skills in research interpretation, grant proposal preparation, scientific publication, and research presentation. The training and productivity of al Scholars will be closely monitored and evaluated by the Internal and External Advisory Committees. Continued CHRCDA funding will allow the Department of Pediatrics to build upon our established track record of rigorously preparing junior faculty pediatric scientists for career as successful and independent physician scientists.
The Department of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles/University of Southern California desires a greater capacity for mentoring junior faculty investigators and for providing these individuals with academic career guidance and state of the art training in basic and applied pediatric research. Ultimately, this increased mentoring, research training, and career development will enhance the transition of our junior faculty pediatricians into productive and independent scientists. This action will foster translational research on clinically relevant questions enabling basic science findings to be more rapidly applied to pediatric clinical problems.
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