This is a competing renewal application of a training grant currently in its 35th year of funding. The overall goal of this proposal is to train postdoctoral M.D. and Ph.D. fellows for academic careers in investigational dermatology. Its first objective is to provide laboratory training for dermatology-trained physicians. Its second objective is to train Ph.D. basic scientists in laboratory-based translational investigative dermatology. Its third objective is to train M.D. dermatologists and Ph.D.s in clinical and translational research. Trainees will commit to a minimum of two years of research training, which will occur under the supervision of one of sixteen primary preceptors. Laboratory-based fellows (M.D. and Ph.D.) will learn to formulate hypotheses and to design, perform, and analyze experiments, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach that emphasizes the use of human skin tissue as an experimental system. M.D. trainees in clinical/translational research will acquire proficiency in hypothesis-driven clinical research design and methods and in statistical analysis of data, while gaining an appreciation of the basic science knowledge underlying their clinical observations and interventions. To maximize multidisciplinary training, and to broaden our outreach into the broader University community, we have added highly qualified primary preceptors from outside the Department of Dermatology. In addition to mandatory participation in selected departmental didactic activities, introductory and advanced courses in clinical research methods and a molecular biology course for clinician-scientists will be available for trainees through the Medical School and the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR). Also, face-to- face training in the responsible conduct of research will be provided at the departmental and University-wide levels. In order to attract more dermatologists into academic careers, we have incorporated research fellowship opportunities in cutaneous oncology and dermatopathology, and expanded our traditional clinical research base in skin pharmacology to encompass a wider spectrum of interventions, notably ultraviolet light and appearance-based interventions. We have also changed our resident selection procedure in order to identify and attract NRSA-eligible M.D.s with strong research potential, with excellent results. We have also added a MICHR-sponsored Translational Research Training Program for Ph.D.s. Finally, we have created a Web site for dissemination of detailed information about our program to all potential trainees. By training M.D.s and Ph.D.s in state-of-the-art dermatological research at both the basic and clinical- translational levels, we will maximize the clinical impact of research, enhance the abilities of our trainees to teach future physicians, and increase the basic knowledge upon which our specialty increasingly depends.
This program is designed to train both M.D. physicians and Ph.D. basic scientists in the biology of the skin and in the study of skin diseases including psoriasis and other autoimmune skin conditions, aging, and skin cancer. All of these problems are common in the United States and have major impacts on public health. We have a particular focus on bench to bedside research that connects what we know about skin biology to patients with skin diseases, in order to deliver better treatments as well as prevention.
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