Chronic kidney disease (CKD) afflicts more than 26 million individuals in the United States and it is well established that racial/ethnic minorities ae disproportionately affected by this chronic condition. The factors responsible for this disparity are complex and incompletely understood. Despite the critical need for more research in this area, decreasing number of trainees are choosing careers in academic nephrology. The K24 Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient- Oriented Research provides a unique mechanism to assist established investigators to attract and retain talented new physician-scientists to careers in patient-oriented research. The candidate for this K24 is James Lash, MD, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Dr. Lash's research focuses on the epidemiology of CKD with a particular emphasis on minority populations. He has considerable experience as a patient- oriented researcher and is the Principal Investigator for two NIDDK-sponsored studies: 1) the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study and 2) the Hispanic CRIC Study. These studies, as well as several other multicenter collaborative studies, provide a wealth of opportunities for trainees. Dr. Lash has developed a solid track record for mentoring young investigators, including a significant number from minority backgrounds. The new research program funded by this award is a natural extension of Dr. Lash's ongoing work and will provide additional opportunities for trainees. It consists of two projects which focus on potential factors contributing to disparities in adults and children with CKD: 1) individual/neighborhood socioeconomic status, and 2) health literacy. This proposed research leverages the infrastructure of two large ongoing cohort studies (the CRIC Study and Chronic Kidney Disease in Children Study) and therefore, provides a unique opportunity to examine these factors in both children and adults with CKD. In addition to mentored research, trainees will participate in didactic training through the UIC K30 Clinical Research Training Program and have access to the extensive resources and infrastructure provided by the UIC Center for Clinical Translational Science (CCTS), the UIC School of Public Health, and the UIC P60 Center for Excellence in Health Disparities. This K24 award will provide Dr. Lash with the additional time and resources to amplify his efforts in contributing to our understanding of health disparities in CKD and in training new physician scientists to become independent investigators in kidney disease research.
Chronic kidney disease afflicts more than 26 million individuals in the United States and it is well established that racial/ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by this chronic condition. Despite the critical need for more research in this area, decreasing number of trainees are choosing careers in academic nephrology. The strengths of this K24 proposal entitled, "Health Disparities in Chronic Kidney Disease Mentoring Program" are as follows: the applicant's robust research program focusing on chronic kidney disease in minorities, his growing success in mentoring new clinician investigators, a comprehensive plan for mentoring and developing the careers of new physician scientists, the strong institutional support and resources at the University of Illinois, and an innovative researc proposal investigating the impact of socioeconomic status and health literacy in adults and children with chronic kidney disease.
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