This renewal application for T32 DK067872, Research Training in Gastroenterology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, requests 5 yrs of funding for 3 predoctoral and 5 postdoctoral (MD, PhD, MD/PhD) trainees. Overall goals of this program are unchanged;to seek and prepare talented trainees for academic careers in Gl by offering an integrated, Interdisciplinary curriculum that emphasizes mucosal biology &immunology, cell signaling &proliferation, enteric pathogens &vaccine development, and clinical research. School of Medicine entities represented by faculty with strong NIH funding cut across departmental lines to include Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Microbiology &Immunology, Biochemistry &Molecular Biology, and Epidemiology &Preventive Medicine. Broad-based training opportunities allow predoctoral trainees to obtain PhD or MD/PhD degrees and postdoctoral trainees to earn MS, MPH or PhD degrees. Four research tracks (Cell Signaling &Proliferation, Mucosal Immunology &Microbiology, Epithelial Cell Biology, and Clinical &Translational Science) are directed by accomplished senior investigators and comprised of highly productive, experienced mentors who interact both within and amongst these tracks. Trainees devote a minimum of 2 yrs in lab- or patient-based research guided by faculty with exceptional mentorship and research credentials. In its initial period of funding, the program was highly successful;all training slots were filled, trainee retention was 100%, and productivity was outstanding. Both predoctoral T32 trainees who completed training qualified for the PhD degree. Of 8 postdoctoral fellows completing training, 4 are completing clinical training and 4 are Assistant Professors pursuing basic or clinical research in academic Medicine or Pediatrics (1 supported by and another with pending NIDDK K08 awards). This T32 program is extraordinarily diverse;of 15 trainees (2005-10), 10 (66%) are women;3 (20%) are African American;and 2 (13%) are Hispanic. During the past 4 years, the program matured and grew by adding funded, productive faculty with strong mentoring credentials, and by innovation (e.g. adding Junior Faculty members, to 'mentor future mentors', and offering a Ph.D. Program for Clinicians).
Increasingly competitive research funding and lucrative practice opportunities discourage trainees from careers in gastroenterology research. The overall goal of this program is to seek and nurture talented pre- and postdoctoral trainees preparing for academic careers in gastroenterology by offering an integrated, interdisciplinary, individualized curriculum in both basic and clinical digestive diseases-related research.
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