The University of Chicago K12 Career Development Program in the Genetic and Genomics of Chronic Lung Diseases, entitled "Multidisciplinary Research Training in Asthma Genetics and Genomics", will establish a new pathway for the training of physician and non-physician scientists in the genetics and genomics of lung diseases. A rigorous curriculum of classroom courses and hands-on laboratory training will provide a broad knowledge base for six K12 Scholars during the proposed 5-year grant period. They will then apply these skills in a multidimensional, highly-mentored research learning experience designed to highlight the simultaneous and interactive contributions of multiple research groups in solving the molecular genetics of asthma. We focus our program on asthma because of the enormous health and economic importance of this highly prevalent disease and the deep and broad exper-tise at the University of Chicago in asthma genetics and pathogenesis;and because it is paradigmatic of common but complex disease syndromes in which many different combinations of genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors conspire to generate a series of closely similar clinical phenotypes that are collectively named as a single entity (in our case, "asthma"). Graduates of our program will be well-prepared to attack a wide range of other chronic lung diseases, such as pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic consequences of acute lung injury (the study of each is also the focus of large research endeavors at the University of Chicago). Finally, we hold as an explicit goal of this K12 program that its training opportunities and benefits will extend far beyond the relatively few Scholars whose stipends it will provide, into the larger respiratory biology community at our University and in Chicago, and to young scientists pursuing the genetics/genomics of common, complex diseases whose principal target organs are other than the lung (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, etc.). The good that accrues from its implementation will thus be substantial.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) (K12)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1-CSR-A (S1))
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Colombini-Hatch, Sandra
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University of Chicago
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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