The objectives and rationale of this training program in academic gastroenterology are to train, nurture and develop physicians and physician-scientists (MD and MD/PhD trainees) for productive and sustaining careers as academic biomedical investigators, scholarly research-focused educators and leaders in the broad field of digestive and liver diseases. We will also consider selective training of highly qualified PhD scientists. The overarching objectives are to train individuals in preparation for independent careers in basic, translational and clinical investigation through mentored interactions supplemented by course work and guided study. The training program in academic gastroenterology draws upon the institutional resources within the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine with over half the faculty group (15/24) having joint appointments in both clinical (Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics) as well as basic science departments, including Developmental Biology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, Molecular Microbiology, Pathology and Immunology, Biomedical Engineering. Other features of this training program include the intellectual enrichment emanating from two NIH funded centers, including a Digestive Disease Research Core Center and a Clinical Nutrition Research Unit. This depth and range of interaction between basic science departments, academic programs and laboratories insures that our trainees are exposed to the most vigorous research and training opportunities in fields including molecular genetics, cell and molecular biology, immunology and developmental biology. In addition to these programs in basic science, our trainees have opportunities in clinical translational investigation, including metabolic studies in humans with obesity, health disparity research, colorectal cancer epidemiology, clinical genetic studies in inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer genetics. Formal coursework is expected of our clinical investigator trainees, who will work towards an MPH or Masters in Clinical Investigation degree.
We aim to enroll two physician or physician-scientist trainees each year, typically at the PGY 4 level, each of whom will be funded for two years by this training grant. In the event a qualified physician or physician-scientist is not identified, we will consider appointing a qualified PhD trainee applicant.
Advancing the science and practice of gastroenterology requires a broad multidisciplinary approach. This training program is built around the philosophy that the future of academic gastroenterology is linked to successful training of research-oriented physicians and physician-scientists as well as selected PhD scientists who will exploit opportunities in basic, translational and population-based clinical research.
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