This NIDA T32, in its 9th year, continues to use strong interdisciplinary ties in training faculty, MDs and Pre and Post Doc PhD fellows in the areas of drug abuse epidemiology, services and prevention to develop scientific knowledge with clear application to practice and public policy. The Program is small with 1 Pre Doc and 2 Post Doc slots awarded through year 7 (1 more was awarded in year 8). It has supported 12 Post Docs and 4 Pre Docs. The rationale for renewing is based on: a) a shortage of drug abuse scientists who are needed to immediately advance the public health, b) talented and funded scientists who are enthusiastic about mentoring the next generation of addiction scientists, c) successful trainees, d) an excellent academic environment and e) a program responsive to NIDA's training mission. Faculty are affiliated with 8 Departments in 3 Schools at Washington University. Additionally, Dr. Mark Gold (University of Florida), and Dr. Jim Topolski (Missouri Institute of Mental Health) also participate. The faculty on this T32 are involved in the NIH Roadmap Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), which is transforming business as usual;it was a major impetus for a new Institute for Public Health, which will provide even more opportunities for this T32. This program is clearly distinct from all others at the University, yet blends with others to create a rich collaborative environment. Based on demand, and on our decision not to resubmit an NIMH T32, we request 1 Pre Doc (no change) and 4 Post Doc slots (1 additional). The focus of our NIDA T32 is to: (i.) train talented interdisciplinary scientists to become independent researchers in drug abuse epidemiology, services and prevention science, or train scientists from other areas who will integrate knowledge of these areas into their fields;(ii.) train in serious shortage areas including: population science, services research, infectious diseases, prevention science, health disparities, and bioethics;(iii.) provide trainees with an apprentice-type education to master skills to critically evaluate data, conduct multiple aspects of drug abuse research and become successful, independent investigators;and (iv.) train individuals to understand, apply and maintain the highest ethical standards, and to be socially responsible investigators.
This program aims to improve the nation's public health by training the next generation of scientists. The program integrates interdisciplinary approaches to address problems related to drug use, misuse and addiction. With one third of academic researchers retiring in the next decade, the need is strong for more trained professionals in our area.
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