This renewal application requests continuing support for a multidisciplinary training program to prepare qualified individuals for careers as investigators of allergic diseases and asthma. Former trainees from the past ten years have been productive, and 80 percent of them are currently in academic institutions. Our goal is to produce highly focused investigators, who will be independent and productive, but will also be able to collaborate and communicate effectively with both basic scientists and clinical colleagues. The program provides an intensive and thorough research experience in the disciplines relevant to understanding the pathophysiology of allergic diseases and asthma and also exposes trainees to the clinical challenges of these diseases. The faculty consists of 16 highly qualified and well-funded investigators who are involved in basic, disease-oriented, and patient-oriented research at Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN. The faculty is highly interactive, and the program is designed to continue to provide both breadth and depth in allergy research. The facilities and resources at Mayo Clinic to perform basic and clinical research projects are state-of-the art and abundant. Outstanding applicants with the MD, PhD, or MD/PhD will be aggressively recruited with efforts especially directed toward identifying individuals from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups;we request support for three postdoctoral trainees for each of five years. Trainees will receive an in-depth training program, combining didactic courses, journal clubs, tutorials and extensive research experience. Trainees are committed to a minimum of two, but preferably three years, of full time research supported by this program because we think this period is the minimum to enable a trainee to compete successfully in academic research. Several changes in faculty composition and curriculum of the program have been made during the past few years to meet the current challenges in the field and to respond to earlier evaluations of the program. Thus, the expertise and experience that the trainees will receive in this program will prepare them for independent research in allergic diseases and asthma;this preparation will address the urgent needs for investigators in these specialties and ultimately for patient care.
Diseases involving allergies are both common and complicated. This training project will provide new research scientists with a solid understanding of both the causes of as well as current and future treatments for allergic diseases and asthma.
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