This application requests support for three postdoctoral positions in a multidisciplinary research training program in the area of human communication and its disorders at Boys Town National Research Hospital (BTNRH). The purpose of the program, currently in its 29th year, is to fulfill four basic training needs: 1) advanced research training for applicants who are recent graduates of speech and hearing or communication sciences doctoral programs, 2) training in hearing research and related areas for applicants with strong backgrounds in molecular biology, molecular genetics, and neuroscience, 3) training in human and molecular genetics for those with strong backgrounds in hearing research, and 4) training for applicants who would benefit from additional research experience in a collaborative, research-intensive environment. The training program consists primarily of direct participation by trainees in basic, translational, or clinical research under the sponsorship of one or more experienced, independent Investigators who comprise the Program Faculty. Research at BTNRH is conducted in 18 different laboratories in a wide range of disciplines from molecular biology to language development, but is focused on a narrower range of questions concerning the mechanisms underlying human communication and its disorders. The environment offers a number of unique advantages for such a training program, including: 1) a faculty that consists of 20 basic and clinical scientists to serve as mentors;2) a critical mass of research trainees, funded by a variety of mechanisms, including the T32 and F32 and R01 grants;3) a clinical staff with access to a large and varied pediatric and adult patient population;4) modern, well-equipped laboratories and diagnostic clinics;5) a stimulating mix of basic, translational, and clinical research projects;and 6) conditions that foster collaborative, multi-disciplinary research. Trainees are selected from PhD's, DSc's, and MD's in areas relevant to ongoing research programs at BTNRH on the basis of their research capabilities and the likelihood of their interacting synergistically with training faculty. Particular attention is paid to identifying and inviting applications to the program by minority candidates. Every effort is made to increase minority participation in the postdoctoral training program and eventually in research related to the mission of the NIDCD.
There is a critical need for interdisciplinary research in the area of human communication and its disorders. The Boys Town National Research Hospital postdoctoral training program is designed to provide trainees with the expertise required to develop successful independent research programs through experience in a large center that contains a unique mix of basic, translational and clinical research programs.
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