Remarkable advances in the diagnosis and management of acute, life-threatening cardiopulmonary and hematologic disorders have occurred in past decades. However, there is growing national concern that expert emergency medicine clinical investigators who can translate new research findings to practice are insufficient in number. It has never been more important to create and maintain a cadre of emergency care physician- scientists, given the unprecedented developments at the cellular and molecular level, including knowledge of the human genome. Innovation in selection, training and career development of new investigators is greatly needed. Vanderbilt University has an extremely successful history in developing well trained researchers who have the vision and skills to embark on successful careers in clinical research. A new career development program, the Vanderbilt Emergency Medicine Scholars Program will focus on training and mentoring physician-scientists in all aspects of research necessary to prepare them for the unique challenges associated with translating basic science into care improvements for acutely ill or injured patients. Although clinically oriented, the program will also highlight the importance of collaborating with basic researchers in hypothesizing and designing clinical research. Two new clinician-scientists who have completed residency (or clinicians with PhDs or equivalent training) and who show exceptional aptitude for successfully pursuing an academic research career will be accepted per year. A total of six Scholars will participate at any one time. The program will concentrate on developing expertise in four focus areas: 1) acute lung injury, 2) asthma, 3) arrhythmias, and 4) acute coronary syndromes and heart failure. These are areas of national recognition and presence for Vanderbilt, and will be bolstered by rich institutional strengths in biomedical informatics, comparative effectiveness, pharmacogenomics, our existing emergency medicine research infrastructure, and continual attraction of a deep, diverse candidate pool. The Program Directors, Douglas B. Sawyer, MD and Alan B. Storrow, MD, have assembled a team of experts in each focus area who are currently engaged in successful academic research and who have devoted their careers to training and mentoring new investigators; both early (Mentors-in-Training) and more senior investigators (Primary Research Mentors) will combine with experts in career development (Academic Mentors) to support Scholars on their paths to independence and contribution to improved diagnosis and management of emergencies.
While incredible advances in the care of acutely ill an injured patients have occurred in past decades, there is growing national concern that expert emergency medicine clinical investigators who can translate new research findings to practice are insufficient in number. We propose a career development program to train a new generation of scientists to address the compelling public health challenges in the management of acute heart, lung, blood, and traumatic diseases.
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