The Burden of Skin Diseases 2005 (available at www.sidnet.org under Programs and Services) was presented to all NIH Directors documenting more than 3000 skin diseases with an estimated cost of $37 billion dollars per year in medical services and lost productivity. The Association of Professors of Dermatology (APD) and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) have recognized that while dermatology is currently attracting the top graduates from U.S. medical schools, there is a worrisome shortage in the workforce of academic dermatology. The mission of this proposed new Dermatology Institutional T32 Training Grant at the University of Washington is to train the next generation of independent investigators in dermatology and skin biology and is thus directly aligned with the training goals of NIAMS as articulated in 2007. This focused mission to train independent investigators (rather than a more broad mission of retaining trainees in academia) is one of many important components of this new application that differ from a T32 program that existed at the University of Washington from 1962 through 2005. The new Training Program will be organized around two formal tracks: Skin Biology Track (SBT) and Clinical Investigator Track (CIT). The SBT provides the opportunity for fellows to train with world-class investigators as they study skin biology using approaches that span the spectrum of biochemistry, protein chemistry, proteomics, imaging, ultrastructure, immunology, microbiology, innate immunity, biofilm biology, molecular and cell biology, transplantation biology, gene regulation, genomic research, chemical genetics, biomaterials and more. The CIT focuses on patient oriented research using methods of epidemiology and biostatistics for research in areas such as skin cancers, skin diseases, population genetics, health services delivery, medical education and teledermatology. Support is requested for 3 postdoctoral trainees with PhD, MD or MD/PhD degrees. A carefully structured plan for recruitment, selection and retention of trainees is described. A mentoring plan that includes formal written evaluations of both the mentee and the mentor is integral to this proposal. We have developed an aggressive, well funded program for applicant pool expansion, recruitment and retention of well qualified minority applicants. Likewise, a strong program is in place for teaching research integrity at the University of Washington.
The program stresses the conduct of research in an ethical and scientifically responsible manner and has an on-going commitment to attract individuals from under-represented minorities.
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