The overall aims of the Developmental Core (DC) are to encourage innovative preliminary work in neuroAIDS;to foster new investigators with targeted Developmental grant support to serve as a springboard for successful applications for independent NIH funding;and within the interdisciplinary context of the HNRC, to help train the next generation of scientists in collarborative research essential for advancement of the field, in the current funding cycle, the Developmental Core has awarded 15 developmental grants, all encompassing promising new directions in neuroAIDS research, to students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty. In addition, the Core has provided training in neuroAIDS research methodology to 188 junior researchers, including 39 who completed the HNRC mentored investigator program. We will continue these programs in the new grant cycle, with several improvements to increase their effectiveness. In addition, we plan to submit in January 2011 an application to the NIH for a T-32 Training Program for a broad range of neuroAIDS researchers (including pre- and post- doctoral trainees, in both clinical and non-clinical fields). This grant will expand on the HNRC's long history of training neurobehavioral and neuromedical scientists. Key accomplishments during the past funding period include the expansion of the Developmental Core goals to include mentoring and pilot study support for international trainees and collaborators, recruitment of young investigators interested in transdisciplinary research (molecular neuroimmunology, genetics, epidemiology, imaging), and receiving an R25 award to support an interdisciplinary clinician-researcher fellowship in neuroAIDS (IRFN). The IRFN provides training to clinicians interested in careers in neuroAIDS research. The training emphasizes the interdisciplinary and translational nature of clinical problems in neuroAIDS in order to prepare clinician scientists to tackle emerging questions in the field. A new goal for the Core is to utilize novel information technology webcasting to facilitate virtual mentoring and journal clubs. The virtual mentoring will be implemented in collaboration locally with the CFAR and UCSD clinical research curriculum (CREST) programs, and extramurally with the AIDS Research Centers at JHU and UNMC. With its multidisciplinary research environment, talented and productive research staff, highly organized and integrated infrastructure, and rich longitudinal specimen and data banks, the HNRC is well-positioned to develop and support expanded opportunities for innovative research by fostering preliminary studies and mentoring of trainees from a wide array of disciplines.
The HNRC Developmental Core is the key platform for recruiting talented young investigators in the field of NeuroAIDS, promote their academic careers, and support new directions of research through developmental grants that provide support for pilot studies. We also plan to integrate our training methods with similar efforts at other academic centers that are developing mentoring programs in neuroAIDS.
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