Residency in an academic neurology program is the ideal setting for a young physician to develop into a clinician-scientist in the neurosciences. Senior faculty in every subspecialty are available to assist residents in starting a basic science, clinical, or translational research program, to help them start a successful clinical practice, to provide a model in balancing the research and clinical work, and to mentor them in publishing and obtaining research funding. However, funds for both research and clinical training are tight, and there previously had been no financial support for time devoted to research training during residency. This R25 mechanism will fill this need for outstanding residents who will be the future leaders in neurology research. However, there is also a need for developing future mentors, who will be exceptional role models and mentors for the increasingly diverse resident applicants in the coming years. Our goal is provide the highest level of education in research skills, research ethics, data analysis and reporting, and career development for clinician-scientists, who will be successful in obtaining funding for their mentored (and later, independent) productive research. Another goal is for our senior mentors, who are clinician scientists with extensive experience in training young physician investigators, to mentor more junior mentors with successful research programs who will be able to carry out our primary goal in future years. Our junior mentors are a racially and ethnically diverse group of men and women who will be exceptional role models for the diverse set of current and future residents and fellows in this program. To meet these goals, each resident who participates in this program will be paired with both a senior mentor and junior research mentor, who will assist the resident in obtaining necessary skills for his or her project and help guide the resident through all steps of a successful research project in the laboratory of one of the mentors and/or their close colleagues with productive, funded research. We will track success of each resident with respect to awards of funding for mentored research (K08 or K23 awards), independent research grants, and publications, for a minimum of 10 years after residency.
There has been tremendous progress over recent years in treatment of neurological disease, but the treatment options for many of the most common and debilitating neurological diseases (such as stroke, dementia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, primary brain tumors) remain very limited. Research to improve prevention or treatment of these diseases will require creative and dedicated physician-scientists who understand the unmet needs and will develop and assess the effectiveness of new interventions. This program will help neurology residents develop into such clinician-scientists, and will get them started on a successful research program that will lead to novel interventions for neurological diseases.
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