Remarkable advances in understanding of the pathophysiology of acute, life-threatening disorders have occurred in the past several decades. However, there are too few clinical investigators who can translate these research findings into improved care, making it critical to create and maintain a cadre of emergency care clinician-scientists. Innovative programs are needed to identify, train, and support such individuals. Vanderbilt has an extremely successful history in developing the careers of clinician-scientists. One such program is the Vanderbilt Emergency Medicine Research Training Program, a K12 program funded in 2011 to develop clinician-scientists in emergency care. Of the 7 Scholars in this program, 3 have successfully obtained external K23 funding, and 3 have K23 applications under review or in preparation in 2015. In response to RFA-HL-16- 019, we propose to extend our successful K12 program by leveraging: 1) a dedicated and senior mentorship team; 2) a diverse Scholar roster; 3) strong collaboration between the Departments of Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Psychiatry, and the School of Nursing, all located on a single campus; 4) an environment with a rich history of highly successful clinical-scientist training and career development; 5) a robust infrastructure for clinical and translational research; and 6) strong institutional support. We propose to recruit a total of 6 clinician-scientists who have completed residency (or those with PhDs or equivalent training) and who show exceptional aptitude for successfully pursuing an academic research career. The program will concentrate on developing expertise in 3 core areas: acute cardiopulmonary emergencies, the neurobiology of acute psychiatric illness, and patient-centered emergency nursing. The Program Directors, Alan B. Storrow, MD and Thomas J. Wang, 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-career (Mentors-in-Training) and senior investigators (Primary Research Mentors) will combine with experts in career development (Academic Mentors) to support the Scholars toward independent careers in emergency care research.
While incredible advances in the care of acutely ill and injured patients have occurred in past decades, there is growing national concern that expert emergency care 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, and mental health illness, as well as patient-centered emergency nursing.