This training program, which has been in continuous existence for 25 years is designed to prepare physicians-scientists for academic careers as independently funded investigators on the faculty of university-based medical centers in either basic or clinical research related to digestive diseases. This training program is closely integrated into the categorical Gastroenterology fellowship program at Brigham &Women's Hospital, which has two related tracks that reflect the major goals of the Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA). These are a basic research track (2-3 trainees/year) and a clinical research track (2-3 trainees/year), both of which include a categorical year of clinical fellowship training in Gastroenterology funded by the institution and two years of research training supported by the Institutional NRSA for the development of physician-scientists and clinical investigators, respectively. Emphasis is placed on the recruitment of trainees with prior research experience (e.g. M.D., Ph.D. degrees). Both tracks continuously take advantage of the faculty and expertise of the Harvard Medical School and its affiliated institutions (Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard School of Public Health [HSPH], Harvard Medical School [HMS], Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Veterans Administration Boston Healthcare System). The PI and 26 current preceptors (including Dr. Jerry Trier, Professor Emeritus) provide training in the following major areas related to digestive diseases research: Immunology, Genetics, Cell and Molecular Physiology, Hepatology and Lipid Biology, Oncology and Clinical Research and Epidemiology. The program is administered by a T32 Executive Committee that is composed of individuals whose interests reflect these areas which provides oversight for the recruitment, training and career development of trainees as well as evaluates the training program and facilitates in the decision-making process for program changes. The program provides support for coursework in basic science disciplines from HMS and formal training in public health and epidemiology fundamentals through a Clinical Effectiveness program at the HSPH, a seven-week intensive program, as well support for a Masters in Public Health degree. This program, with its long tradition of training academic leaders, allows for broad training in the basic and clinical sciences, thus allowing optimal development of the particular strengths and interests of individual trainees.
Our T32 training program has focused for the past 25 years on preparing young physicians and post-doctoral scientists for committed research careers in academic Gastroenterology and Hepatology that are at the forefront of the fields being studied. With the assistance of the T32 funding, we can provide four T32 trainees the opportunity to have a nearly full-time research experience with an assigned research mentor as well as the resources to obtain further research training through educational courses including the potential to acquire an MPH degree through the Harvard School of Public Health. Our program strives to train the next generation of academic professionals in Gastroenterology and Hepatology for strong research careers with the ultimate aim to enhance the outcomes for patients with digestive diseases as well as the general population.
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