This application seeks to obtain NIH funding to train pediatric nephrology fellows at the University of Pittsburgh/Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP) to become successful clinician scientists. Presently fewer than 5% of the membership of the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology have active R01 grants and few Divisions have more than one or two NIH funded Pediatric Nephrologists. Furthermore, there are few dedicated pediatric nephrology T32 training grant positions available to train fellows. Given current financial difficulties, it has also been difficult for Medical Schools and Departments of Pediatrics to commit resources to training fellows to do research. Taken together, there are often inadequate resources and few mentors available to train pediatric nephrologists to do basic, translational, or clinical research. The resulting paucity of pediatric nephrology fellows that develop successful careers in research dramatically impedes progress in deciphering pathophysiology and ultimately treatments for kidney diseases that affect children. The objective of this program is to train Pediatric Nephrology fellows to become clinician researchers. There will be four positions, two for PGY5 and two for PGY6 Pediatric Nephrology medical fellows. Fellows will be selected during their PGY4 year and with the guidance of the Program Director and Executive Committee, they will select a research mentor and convene a Mentoring Committee. The fellows will then participate in the program during their PGY5 and 6 years. This training program is uniquely positioned in that there are four (soon to be five) NIH-funded Pediatric Nephrology faculty members in this division (three of which are qualified to be trainers). This is also one of the largest Pediatric Nephrology divisions in the country with seven (soon to be eight faculty) with a robust clinical program that will enhance fellow recruitment. There is also an extreme wealth of high quality, NIH funded kidney/urinary tract research beyond our division at the University of Pittsburgh, including investigators in the College of Medicine and the College of Public Health. Moreover, the University of Pittsburgh ranks 5th in NIH awards obtained from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), much of which is in areas of kidney and urinary tract diseases. All of the faculty trainers in this program also have a significant track record of mentoring pre and post-doctoral trainees. The research areas are very diverse and include trainers focused on basic, translational, and clinical research. The environment is also very supportive and includes coursework and even optional degrees for fellows (e.g. Fundamentals of Biomedical Science courses for basic science and Certificate in Clinical Research, Masters in Clinical Research, or Masters of Public Health for clinical/translational science). The training program is also very focused on increasing the diversity of trainees and on education regarding the responsible conduct of research. In summary, the breadth of the research opportunities, training track record, and outstanding environment make this institution an excellent place to train research based Pediatric Nephrology fellows.

Public Health Relevance

Pediatric nephrology describes the field of medicine that cares for children with kidney diseases. There are very few pediatric nephrologists that have been trained to do research into the causes of kidney disease in children;thus, this decreases the chances of quickly finding cures for kidney diseases in children. The purpose of this program is to train more pediatric nephrology doctors to do research on the causes of kidney disease in children.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Digestive Diseases and Nutrition C Subcommittee (DDK)
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Rys-Sikora, Krystyna E
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University of Pittsburgh
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