The aim of our interdisciplinary Institutional Neurological Sciences Academic Development Award (NSADA) Program, based at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and The University of Pennsylvania (U of P), is to train child neurologists with a MD or MD/PhD to flourish in academia as clinician scientists. Our long-term goals are for our trainees to establish the foundations of basic and clinical research as it pertains to childhood neurological diseases. This will enable our graduates to make Inroads to our understanding of disease processes, and then for others to take these scientific observations to the """"""""bedside"""""""" by conducting well-designed clinical trials. 39 mentors will participate in this first competitive renewal of this program;18 are based primarily at CHOP, and 21 primarily at the U of P. All are heavily involved in biomedical graduate education and are closely interlinked by mutual research projects and grants. In addition to mentored research training, our curriculum emphasizes: 1) formal course work through the U of P Graduate Studies Program, 2) when appropriate, enroll in the Masters in Statistics and Clinical Epidemiology through the CCEB program at U of P, 3) training in responsible conduct of research, 4) training In biostatistics, and 5) workshops that cover a variety of important survival skills. Including scientific writing, public presentations, grant writing workshops, laboratory management and career advancement skills. During the first 4 years of our program, we accepted 4 trainees;2 were MDs, and 2 were MD/PhDs. Two of these trainees were female. The two candidates in years 1 and 2 are on the faculty at U of P as Assistant Professors, and the other two are Instructors also at U of P. We request continued support for 1 child neurologist/year to be a NSADA candidate. Our goal remains focused on providing a training program unlike any other here at CHOP or U of P that is focused on child neurologists to acquire the necessary training that will enable them to be outstanding clinicians/scientists. This program benefits from being in an outstanding environment that commits substantial resources to training, to basic biomedical research, and to a true 'bench to bedside"""""""" approach to translational research.
There is a serious shortage of clinicians/scientists in the child neurology workforce in the USA, Clinicians and scientists are urgently needed to apply modern methods to elucidate the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of neurological disorders, and to train individuals to translate this information into patient care, so that new and more effective therapeutic interventions can be identified. This program strives to fill this need.
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