This revised competitive renewal seeks funding for continuation of a transplant-specific training grant, which has evolved considerably in the past 4 years into the Advanced Research Training in Transplantation Sciences program at Emory University. The program serves an area of medical science, transplantation biology, that is exceptionally rigorous, uniquely multidisciplinary, and in dire need of new students to take up the substantial momentum established in the past 20 years. The current proposal represents a coalescence of numerous, highly productive, diverse, and actively collaborating junior and senior investigator/mentors, with an associated group of dedicated instructors, on a strong institutional foundation of fundamental academic excellence, to execute a unique and carefully designed training program that will attract and retain highly motivated trainees to the transplantation field, and give them the unique tool set needed to influence the prevailing problems in the field. The program offers a rich environment spanning powerful murine models in transplantation and viral immunology, an intensive translational program at the Yerkes National Primate Center, and markedly augmented opportunities in clinical trials and human immunology. Every aspect of the program has improved over the past 5 years and the desire for this program amongst trainees is firmly established. The program has been highly introspective in its efforts to evolve and improve, and it is our firm belief that the current offering will imprve the future of transplantation research and practice, and optimize the length and quality of life fo transplant recipients.
Organ transplantation has evolved over the past 57 years from an experimental curiosity to the preferred therapy for most causes of isolated end stage organ failure of the heart, intestine, kidney, liver, lung, and endocrine pancreas, as well as an emerging option for patients with limb and other composite tissue loss. The number of patients awaiting (currently >111,000), receiving (>28,000/year) and living with (approaching 400,000) organ transplants has approximately doubled in the past decade. However, even as the number of patients requiring innovative, scientifically sound solutions to transplant-related problems markedly increases, the number of scientists entering the field has decreased in recent years. Newly energized, transplant-focused training is required to perpetuate the pattern of discovery that has propelled the field of transplantation, and these training opportunities need to be developed cognizant of the unique clinical integration and multidisciplinary scientific and practice patterns characteristic of modern transplantation. Collaborative scientists and clinicians at the Emory Transplant Center are proposing an integrative, multi-disciplinary training program in transplantation biology (Advanced Research Training in Transplantation Sciences, ARTTS) to accomplish this goal.
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