The broad aim of this competing renewal application is to train MD scientists for research careers in the field of molecular gastroenterology and hepatology. The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has a critical mass of MD and PhD scientists whose work focuses on diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and liver. This group of researchers is highly interactive and has a distinguished record of training MD and PhD scientists in all aspects of investigative gastroenterology. The participating faculty are well-funded to perform clinical and basic research, and are highly committed to educating fellows, and have an excellent record of training clinically oriented MDs for careers as physician-scientists. All preceptors have primary or joint appointments in the Section of Digestive Diseases, Nutrition and Hepatology or are closely associated with the research and educational programs of the section. The training environment offers a rich mixture of seminars, visiting professors, and conferences that allows for stimulating exchanges with the trainees. The research training offered is under the umbrella of gastrointestinal epithelial and hepatic pathobiology;specific categories include GI Cancers, Host-Pathogen Interactions/Inflammation, and Intestinal Transport. The program is supplemented with didactic lectures and graduate level coursework including Applied Statistical Methods, Advanced GI Pathophysiology, and Strategies for Effective Scientific Communication. The previous 9 years of funding of this training grant have been highly successful. Nine trainees have completed training;3 are Asst. Professors pursuing basic or clinical research in academic Departments of Medicine (2 funded by society awards and 1 by NIH ROl). Two are completing clinical training (1 finishing MPH;both writing K08s next year). Underrepresented minorities recruitment has been extraordinarily successful. Of 13 trainees supported by the T32 program, 3 (23%) are underrepresented ethnic minorities (2 African-American, 1 Hispanic), 1 is disabled, 1 is from disadvantaged background and 7 (54%) are women. In this cycle, the program was further strengthened by the funding of a PPG entitled 'Regulation of Intestinal Transport'and several new ROIs. The newly established Enteric Pathogenesis Group provides an opportunity for trainees to present to and interact with faculty and students with similar interests.
Total costs spent on digestive diseases in 2004 were $142 billion. Gl cancers and Gl infections (including viral hepatitis) accounted for a significant portion of these costs. The goal of this proposal is to train MDs interested in gastroenterology and hepatology for careers in research of these areas that will ultimately lead to reduction in healthcare costs for digestive diseases and improvement in quality of life.
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