The aim of this award is to create an opportunity for selected residents in the neurology residency training programs of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Children's Hospital Boston (CHB) to participate for 9 to 24 months in an intensive, mentored, research educational experience during the third year of residency and subsequent fellowship years. This training will be designed to prepare participating residents for successful competition for independent mentored research awards, and will facilitate the transition from resident/fellow to clinician-scientist. Each participant will work with one of 37 mentors, who have been recruited from the faculties of CHB, BIDMC, and Harvard Medical School (HMS). All have active NIH funding and a history of training clinician-scientists. The proposed mentors cover all major areas of the clinical and basic neurosciences, and include 20 investigators from CHB, 16 investigators from BIDMC, and one investigator from HMS (Dr. Michael Greenberg, former leader of the Neurobiology Program at CHB, now Chair of Neurobiology at HMS). Seventeen of these investigators are engaged in clinical/translational neuroscience research, twelve conduct basic neuroscience research, and eight are involved in both basic and clinical/translational research. Mentors have been drawn not only from the Departments of Neurology/Neurobiology, but also from the CHB Division of Neuropathology, the CHB Division of Neuroradiology, the CHB Department of Neurosurgery, the BIDMC Division of Neuropathology, and the Pain Research Program of the BIDMC Department of Anesthesia. Selected resident participants will learn state-of- the-art laboratory skills and will acquire the critical expertise necessary for the conduct of responsible research. Data collected and analyzed will serve for publications as well as for future NIH proposals. The program will be governed by a Steering Committee consisting of the PD/PIs, the Department Chairs, and the Residency Directors of the participating residency programs. This Committee will work together to recruit and select trainees, to monitor their progress, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the training experience.
Illnesses affecting the nervous system remain a great challenge to medical research. The discovery of the causes of these illnesses, leading to earlier diagnosis and better treatments, requires research that relies increasingly on conceptual complexities and sophisticated methodologies. The present R25 proposal is aimed at developing researchers that can combine the clinical expertise obtained during residency with a well developed and focused investigative research program. Neurology residents are keenly aware of the problems that need to be solved and are especially motivated and energized to solve them. The CHB/BIDMC residency program combines both adult and child neurology within an environment that has great depth in basic and clinical neuroscience. Mentors chosen for the R25 include leading NIH funded basic cellular and molecular neuroscientists, as well as successful physician scientists actively engaged in clinical and basic neuroscience and experienced in, and eager to train physician scientists. The main focus of the proposed program will be to prepare physicians for independent and competitive research.
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