Described herein is a training program in Women's Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) designed to develop 3 physician-scientists in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Kansas University Medical Center (KUMC) over the next 5 years. We will take full advantage of the scientific wealth and infrastructure of the entire University of Kansas system. Among its faculty are more than 30 extramurally funded scientists pursuing basic and translational research in women's reproductive health, and it is these scientists that form the pool of potential mentors for the KU WRHR Scholars. Indeed, reproductive biology is among the top 3 institutional research missions at KUMC, and the Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology has superb University support for Scholar development. The proposed Program will add junior faculty with state of the art research training in women's reproductive health to the region's main academic health center, stimulate women's reproductive health research in a collaborative fashion among disciplines, and secure an outstanding research experience for the Scholar leading to a successful, independent research career. The training and mentoring program encourages both basic and clinical science careers and is divided into two flexible but defined phases. In Phase I (years 1-2), basic science Scholars who have not done graduate level work will complete the core doctoral curriculum of the KU Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in the Biomedical Sciences. Clinical science Scholars will complete the KU Clinical Research Program designed to increase the number of funded clinical scholars committed to patient-oriented research. Phase I completion brings Phase ll, where the Scholar spends 3 years conducting research and writing grants/manuscripts. Throughout, they are mentored by a primary mentor selected at program application and a mentoring team that includes a member of the Internal Advisory Committee. Program success is defined by progression of Scholars through academic ranks, the achievement of independently funded research and Program feedback after graduation. We will be successful if our Scholars are published, funded, promoted, tenured, establish an independent research program, and make significant contributions to women's health research.
The primary goal of this K-12 Program is to promote the development of physician-scientists in obstetrics and gynecology, and transfer the fruits of their research to clinical practice for the benefit of society in the future. A secondary goal is to increase the number of physician-scientists in women's health research at KUMC, thus expanding the critical mass of physician-scientists who will then serve as our future base.