The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Vermont is committed to the career development of physician-scientists with an emphasis on Women's Health. To this end we have assembled a multidisciplinary group of 20 experienced investigators, who will serve as mentors, and a nine-member Advisory Committee, and are applying for the WRHR Career Development Program grant to formalize and facilitate the training process. Each mentor has an active, funded research program in one of five scientific themes that reflects the research strengths of our Institution, and around which our training efforts will be structured - female vascular diseases, genital tract smooth muscle contractility, reproductive immunology and infectious disease, genetics and developmental biology, and endocrine signaling related to metabolism and aging. WRHR scholars will include women and under-represented minorities, and be recruited from our Department and from OB/GYN training programs in our region and throughout the country. The training process will include instruction in grant and manuscript preparation and review, experimental design and statistical analysis, and the responsible and ethical conduct of research. The University of Vermont Center for Clinical and Translational Science and the Graduate College will provide a foundation of elective courses required for performing successful research. Direct experience in the process of research will be obtained under the guidance of the primary mentor. We have created a two-track plan for individuals with little vs. substantial previous research experience. Defined benchmarks for progress, including early formalization of specific aims, seminar presentation, and a formal review process will help monitor and assure each individual's progress. Each Scholar will have the opportunity to attend and present their work. We anticipate enrollment of three WRHR Scholars at any one time, and completion of training in 3-5 years with the end point for each scholar being the development of his/her own scientific ideas and submission of grant applications for extramural funding.

Public Health Relevance

This is a proposal to increase the number of committed and qualified physician scientists devoted to the betterment of women's health through high quality and ethical research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) (K12)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-L (14))
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Parrott, Estella C
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University of Vermont & St Agric College
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Raj, Renju S; Bonney, Elizabeth A; Phillippe, Mark (2014) Influenza, immune system, and pregnancy. Reprod Sci 21:1434-51
Calder, Michele; Chan, Yee-Ming; Raj, Renju et al. (2014) Implantation failure in female Kiss1-/- mice is independent of their hypogonadic state and can be partially rescued by leukemia inhibitory factor. Endocrinology 155:3065-78
Brown, Lucia Y; Bonney, Elizabeth A; Raj, Renju S et al. (2013) Generalized disturbance of DNA methylation in the uterine decidua in the CBA/J x DBA/2 mouse model of pregnancy failure. Biol Reprod 89:120