The GI training program of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) remains dedicated to the preparation of investigators committed to a career in GI biomedical research. This program continues to build on its extensive past experience in training productive and committed digestive diseases investigators (94% of trainees in past 10 years remain in academic GI). Fundamental features of the post-doctoral training format, the major component of this program, include direct research participation in conjunction with a comprehensive program of didactic instruction and enrichment activities to provide a deep foundation in biomedical science and modern research techniques. In addition, continuation of a two-year pre-doctoral laboratory research program is proposed to attract promising underrepresented minorities, to careers in GI research at a critical juncture in their careers. Research Areas and Disciplines. The strength of the research base of this program encompasses a spectrum of research interests. The majority of trainees will undertake training in laboratory research in which emphasis is placed on the application of tools of molecular biology to GI research. Training is offered in several disciplines central to the study of digestive diseases: Epithelial Biology, Developmental Biology, Immunology, Metabolism, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Genetics, Cancer Biology, Stem Cell Biology, Systems Biology, and Tissue Engineering. For fellows undertaking training in clinical investigation, a rigorous preparation in relevant quantitative sciences, including Biostatistics and Epidemiology, is provided. In all disciplines, updated formal work in the Responsible Conduct of Research is offered. Level of Training, Background and Numbers of Trainees. This renewal proposes both post-doctoral and pre-doctoral training. Post-doctoral training is offered to individuals holding M.D., M.D.-Ph.D. or relevant Ph.D. degrees. Seven post-doctoral positions are requested: four post-doctoral fellows will begin training each year, and remain in research training for a minimum of two years supported by this award. In addition, two positions are requested to continue the pre-doctoral training fellowship for URMs completing an undergraduate degree or enrolled in graduate or medical school, each student entering for a 1-2 year period. Training Facilities. Research training will take place in the existing laboratories of the research mentors;a group of 57 established investigators with extensive ongoing interactions. Laboratories are present at the MGH, a large general hospital with more than 1,300,000 sq. ft. of space dedicated to research. In addition, training opportunities will be available in laboratories elsewhere at Harvard, M.I.T., and the Broad Institute. Didactic educational programs will include those offered through the Harvard Medical School, other affiliates of the Harvard Medical School, the Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University and M.I.T.
The training of the next generation of knowledge creators in digestive diseases will require concerted efforts to harness the explosion of information that has been created by annotation of the human genome and other technologies. Now more than ever, a planned approach to the research career development of physician scientists becomes critical to maximize likelihood of success, one that must incorporate solid scientific environment, mentorship, didactic curriculum, monitoring, and interaction. We have retained preceptors from a stellar group of fundamental, translational and clinical scientists who have adapted and incorporated these recent advances to preserve a training environment that has had an exceptional track record of producing leaders in academic gastroenterology.
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