We propose to establish the UCLA Dermatology Scientist Training Program (DermSTP) with the goal to ensure the development of the next generation of academic leaders in investigative dermatology. The training program will leverage the UCLA STAR (Specialty Training and Advanced Research) program, which combines clinical and research training with a core curriculum and protected research time. The UCLA Dermatology STAR program has a proven track record with three graduates having received NIH K08 awards, three receiving NIH ROI awards, and nine having achieved academic positions. The UCLA DermSTP will also recruit outstanding M.D. and Ph.D. scientists as trainees, who propose research training in skin biology with the long term goal of developing a career in investigative dermatology. The UCLA DermSTP will raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities in skin diseases research, increasing the breadth of UCLA scientists interested in such research who wish to initiate their own projects in skin biology. The UCLA DermSTP will have the advantage of being located at one of the premier medical centers in the United States - the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine is ranked 11th in total NIH funding and is noted for its richly diverse scientific strengths. The UCLA DermSTP will foster maximally effective collaboration among the researchers in the Division of Dermatology and will interconnect basic science research and translational application. Three postdoctoral fellows will be selected each year, with the expectation that trainees will apply for and receive at least one renewal year, to a maximum of three years. The experience will include mentoring by the principal investigator as well as the other training faculty, through a series of educational programs including trainee seminars, seminars by scientists from outside and within UCLA that are involved in skin disease research and journal clubs. In summary, the UCLA SDRC will provide a mechanism to further the growth and development of STAR trainees and other UCLA faculty, as well as training to outstanding medical students, graduate students, residents and fellows developing a career in skin disease research.
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