The purpose of this Predoctoral Training Program is to facilitate the advancement of outstanding young investigators in Translational Musculoskeletal Research. This resubmission application seeks funding for four predoctoral slots per year to conduct research at the intersection of clinical medicine and surgery and basic science and engineering. The trainees will obtain a Ph.D. degree in Bioengineering or Materials Science and Engineering, typically five years in duration, with two years to be supported by this training grant. Mentorship for the program comes from a core of 21 well-funded and active faculty members in Departments or Divisions at the University of California, San Diego, while the university itself and local hospitals and research institutions offer state of the art research laboratories and resources. The program's formal course curriculum provides an interdisciplinary, innovative and rigorous educational experience. Trainees conduct doctoral research under the guidance of two mentors, one providing a basic science perspective, the other a clinical one. This mentorship structure will stimulate an interdisciplinary training environment conducive to fruitful research and discovery in musculoskeletal translation. Additionally, key aspects of the training program include: a clinical rotation with a clinical mentr in order to obtain a first- hand perspective of musculoskeletal disorders, participation in prominent conferences, career mentorship, training in grantsmanship, and weekly seminars from prominent speakers in fields including bioengineering, orthopaedic surgery and rheumatology. Trainees will thereby develop interdisciplinary research skills, between the bench and bedside, allowing them to springboard to careers that will improve the treatment, diagnosis, and prevention of musculoskeletal diseases and conditions.
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