The long-term goal for our K12 program, "Application of Omics in Lung Disease", is to provide multidisciplinary career development that will equip MD, PhD or MD/PhD scholars with the knowledge and skills to apply pan- omics and integrative approaches to elucidating the genomic and molecular bases of lung diseases. Our Lung Omics Program will provide opportunities for two highly qualified scholars per year, who are in year 1 or 2 of their faculty positions, to understand and apply omics technologies to cutting edge questions in their developing research programs focused on the pathobiology of lung diseases and personalized medicine. The rationale is based upon the clear need for training in the use of omics. The design of our Program addresses this need by providing opportunities in forefront omics, bioinformatics and clinical research. Our Program consists of four omics, leading expertise in bioinformatics, integrative systems analysis of complex biological systems, and clinical research, as well as opportunities to use cohorts in large databases, biobanks and electronic medical record. Our omics include genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and microbiome. Genomics offers opportunities in COPD, pneumonia, acute lung injury, cystic fibrosis, primary ciliary dyskinesia, and environmental lung disease, using microarrays, RNA sequencing, GWAS to asses modifier genes, biomarkers and transcriptomes to study the DNA and RNA genomes. Proteomics focuses on the blood and airway proteomes, both the mucus proteome and the exosome proteome, and pulmonary epithelial and endothelial cells. Metabolomics includes the metabolome of the airway, both epithelial cells and macrophages, in CF and COPD, as well as the effect of hypoxia. Microbiomics pursues the airway microbiome in COPD, CF, PCD, environmental lung disease and pneumonia. This Lung Omics Career Development Program offers robust and cutting edge bioinformatics and longstanding programs in systems biology and integrative analyses of omics data. Clinical research programs are numerous and focused in these same areas of lung disease, offering our scholars opportunities and expertise in many lung diseases on which to base their omic studies. In addition to the 15 faculty mentors leading these omics and associated areas, 12 additional faculty who utilize multiple omics within their research programs also serve as mentors. Scholars will be selected through a rigorous application process. Mentorship is a critical component of our program;each scholar will have a primary and secondary mentor, as well as additional mentors as appropriate for their career development. Each scholar will have a scholarly oversight committee who meet regularly and provide guidance in career development. Each scholar will be supported for 2-3 years and will apply for individual K or R awards as appropriate. Our Program will thus facilitate the career development of our scholars and prepare them for successful careers as independent investigators using omics, bioinformatics and integrative systems analyses to pursue important questions in lung diseases.

Public Health Relevance

This K12 Program in the application of omics to lung diseases facilitates career development for scholars who are developing independent lung research programs that require the use of omics. The application of four omics, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and microbiome, together with bioinformatics and clinical research, will advance our understanding of the pathobiology and the application of personalized medicine to lung diseases, including chronic obstructive airways disease, pneumonia, acute lung injury, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, primary ciliary dyskinesia and environmental lung disease. Our Program will thus facilitate the career development of our scholars and prepare them for successful careers as independent investigators applying omics to impact on the diagnosis, treatment and clinical course of patients with lung diseases.

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-J (M1))
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Colombini-Hatch, Sandra
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Chapel Hill
United States
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