This is a new proposal to establish a Child Health Research Career Development Award Program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) under the aegis of the Department of Pediatrics with George Lister as PI and Philip Shaul as TD. UTSW and the Dept of Pediatrics are ideally positioned to provide the environment, the dedicated mentors, the core resources, and the stream of talented clinician-scientists that would benefit immeasurably from this award and would, in turn, become the next generation of imaginative, independent, and sophisticated investigators focused on the diseases of major importance to infants and children throughout their lifetimes.
Our aims are: to identify and match the most talented and committed future pediatric faculty with the very best scientific mentorship and research environments on this campus, and thereby provide our Scholars with the requisite tools and needed foundation to become productive and creative scientists;to provide time, structure, financial support and minimal distraction to help encourage them to pursue novel and imaginative strategies to address the most important and perplexing medical problems;and to nurture these Scholars in order to foster and reinforce the excitement, fortitude, and peer interactions that are essential for a durable career. We have organized this Career Development Program with an overarching theme, Antecedents &Sequelae of Childhood Onset Diseases, with 7 thematic components. The biologic and pathophysiologic processes under study within these themes are of paramount importance to pediatrics, they capitalize on existing strengths at UTSW and very well established research and training collaborations existing between mentors in the Department of Pediatrics and the basic science faculty on our campus, and they represent areas of the highest priority in the newest strategic plan forged by the Dean's Advisory Committee at the school.
This is new proposal is intended to train outstanding young pediatric physician-scientists to focus on the antecedents and sequelae of childhood diseases. Many diseases of adulthood have their origin in developmental processes and these include conditions that 1) have expression early and continue throughout life (e.g. autism);2) have etiologies entirely dependent on the timing of an insult and have potentially devastating long term consequences (e.g. broncho-pulmonary dysplasia);3) are characterized by high morbidity and mortality both during childhood and thereafter (e.g. cancer, type 2 diabetes);and 4) have etiologies that arise during infancy and childhood at which time they are subclinical, and result in great morbidity and mortality later in life (e.g. fatty liver disease, hypertension, atherosclerosis).
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