The goal of the Research Training in Digestive Diseases Program at the University of Virginia continues to be the development of young investigators in gastroenterology and hepatology. The foundation of this training program, now in its 10th year, is a robust multidisciplinary research environment. The program is designed to produce successful and well-trained academic investigators in digestive diseases. Key elements of the post-doctoral training curriculum include participation in basic, translational and clinical research and a comprehensive program of didactic instruction and enrichment activities aimed at providing a solid foundation in biomedical sciences as well as the latest research techniques. Research Areas and Disciplines: The broad range of research interests of the program faculty are unified by a core of related disciplines, which are common to every trainee's experience. Trainees pursuing training in laboratory research will learn to apply the tools of molecular and cell biology, genetics, physiology and/or immunology to important Gl questions. For the trainees pursuing clinical investigation, a rigorous curriculum in quantitative sciences, including Outcomes Research, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Clinical Trials is available in collaboration with the Public Health Sciences faculty. The expertise of the program faculty mentors and the key areas of research offered by the Training Program fall into five overlapping and interactive areas of research: IBD and inflammation;Gl infections;Cancer and regeneration;Pancreatobiliary and liver diseases;and Clinical and translational studies and genetics. Trainees: This continuation application is focused on post-doctoral training offered to individuals holding MD, PhD, or related degrees. Three post-doctoral positions per year for five years are requested, with three beginning training each year and remaining in training supported by this award for a minimum of two years. Research training will take place in the laboratories of the research mentors, a group of 26 established investigators with extensive collaborative interactions. Accomplishments: Over the past 10 years this training grant has been instrumental in developing investigators of digestive health research. During the past 5-year funding period, we have supported 11 trainees. 4 are currently still engaged in training. 5 of the 7 individuals who have finished training in this past funding period are in academic positions as instructors (1) or assistant professors (4). 2 of our 19 trainees over the past decade of funding have been women and 3 minorities. All three trainees currently supported by the T32 grant are planning to pursue careers in academic medicine.
A comprehensive Training Program which aims to nurture and develop successful young researchers of digestive diseases will help ensure the future of gastroenterology and hepatology. The Training Program in Digestive Diseases at the University of Virginia has demonstrated success in that the majority of graduates from our program remain working in universities advancing knowledge of digestive health and disease.
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