This application is the renewal of the Neuro Sciences Academic Development Award (NSADA) that has supported 14 post-residency scholars in pediatric neurology over the past 15 years. The new application reflects the growth and changes in pediatric neurology over the past 20 years, with a focus on the past 5 years, and includes mentors with research and clinical expertise in academic areas that have direct impact on modern pediatric neurology: developmental neuroscience, systems/cognitive neuroscience, neurogenetics, nervous system injury, and epilepsy. The proposed mentors come from within the Department of Neurology (including the Division of Pediatric and Developmental Neurology), as well as the Departments of Anatomy &Neurobiology, Biology, Genetics, Psychology, Psychiatry, Developmental Biology, Pediatrics, Neurosurgery, Medicine, and Radiology. This new application also highlights the enormous and continued growth of resources for basic/translational/clinical neuroscience research at Washington University (an already enriched environment) over the past 5 years. These resources will be readily accessible to the NSADA scholars. The program will be specifically tailored for the three scholars, graduates of our pediatric neurology residency program, and depend heavily upon their prior research experience and career preferences. Scholars who enter the program with extensive research experience will be encouraged to replenish their fund of knowledge and then embark upon new research with the guidance of the mentor, Program Director, and the Internal Advisory Committee. Less experienced scholars may spend up to a year in formal coursework in the Neuroscience Program of the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences at Washington University. In either case, scholars will be able to draw upon the resources of not only the 29 faculty committed to this application but also a wider neuroscience community composed of roughly 200 faculty engaged in active research. While scholars will be expected to receive most of their supervision from their mentors, there is enormous interaction between faculty investigators and their respective laboratories so that scholars will have abundant opportunities for contact with experienced researchers. As is demonstrable from the track record of the Washington University NSADA to date, graduates of NSADA scholarship should be competitive for either additional K level support or independent RPG level funding after completion of three years.
One of the central missions of the Washington University Pediatric Neurology Residency Program is to train outstanding physician-scientists who will perform the groundbreaking research that will transform our ability to care for our pediatric patients with neurological disorders. This NSADA provides a fundamental mechanism for our ability to carry out this critical mission.
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