With child neurology entering a new era, there is a critical need to develop a new cohort of investigators who not only understand the molecular underpinnings of childhood neurologic disease, but are also well- trained in translational neuroscience to develop biologically-based therapies and perform translational research. The goals of the NSADA training program, of which we are asking renewal, are to promote the development of the basic clinical and translational research skills of child neurologists, encourage these promising junior faculty members to focus their efforts on important problems in child neurology, and to train a cohort of junior investigators to become leaders in pediatric neurology, focusing on multidisciplinary translational research. We propose to train 3 child neurologists over the period of the award and, at the end of training, expect these awardees to have the skills to perform important clinical and translational research in neurologic conditions o childhood, to be able to assume tenure track positions in medical schools with departments, and to be able to compete successfully for extramural grant support. This award will focus on training in important areas in child neurology including neuro-oncology, neuromuscular disorders, neurogenetic and neurometabolic diseases, developmental neurobiology/developmental disorders and acute brain injury/neuroprotection. Over the first grant cycle, the NSADA program at CNMC was granted two awardees, and through innovative mechanisms, in collaboration with the academic office of CNMC and NINDS, was able to train 3 excellent young physicians who are pursuing academic careers and are successfully competing for extramural grant support. The CNMC NSADA program has experience in training young physician scientists and has a well-organized programmatic structure. A cohort of experienced mentors have agreed to participate in the program;mentors who are experienced in training young physician scientists and have shown the ability to obtain independent extramural support for their research. They all have well-established laboratories and are tenured at CNMC or affiliated programs, further substantiating their ability to perform their mentoring roles. It is expected that each awardees will have a strong mentoring team led by one experienced mentor, and that there will be significant safeguards built into the program to ensure the awardees'success. Each awardee will have a detailed training program, including a didactic educational program which is individualized, but stresses common elements including training and responsible conducts of research, statistical design, and innovative molecular and neurophysiologic techniques. Core laboratory programs in molecular genetics, cellular imaging, and cellular neuroscience, Neuro-imaging, neuropsychology, and statistical design and analysis will be offered to all candidates. The program will utilize a well-developed selection process to both identify appropriate awardees and mentors (mentorship team). There are strong potential candidates in place in the CNMC fellowship program;however, the program will also reach outside its own program to attract awardees and has a well-developed plan for recruitment and retention plan to enhance diversity. The growing research and academic programs at CNMC, including its award of being the only children's hospital to lead a CTSA and one of two pediatric hospitals to be included in the NEXT consortium, also ensures the awardees'success within the NSADA program.
As child neurology enters a new era with rapid discoveries in neuroscience and molecular genetics, there is a critical need to develop a new cohort of investigators in child neurology to improve our understanding of childhood neurologic diseases and to develop innovative therapies through basic, clinical and translational research. The NSADA program of the Children's National Medical Center is designed with the overarching goals of training academic child neurologists who will have: 1) the skills to perform important basic, clinical and translational research;2) will be able to assume tenure track positions in medical school departments of neurology;3) will be able to successfully compete for extramural grant support;and 4) will be able to add significantly to our understanding of childhood neurologic diseases and their treatment. The program is structured, utilizing the significant resources of CNMC and its allied programs to develop a strong mentorship team and to select appropriate candidates who have been chosen, through a rigorous selection process, which enhances diversity and focuses on the recruitment of under-represented minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities.
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