Urological diseases which include conditions of the genito-urinary tract (GU) can be congenital or acquired, malignant or benign, and medical or surgical. Roughly more than 25 million visits to physicians and hospitals took place in 2000 for just the top 4 urologic conditions;however, the research portfolio to address them lags. Most experts would consider the shortage of qualified scientists and urologists-scientists as the most important contributing factor. Thus, the Urology Institute of the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Medical Center (CWRU UI) was created with the overarching goal of rapid expansion of translational research and training of a new generation of scientists and surgeon-scientists. Through the funding requested in this proposal we propose to establish the CWRU Urology Translational Research Training Program (CUTRTP), to expand our current support for the training of 2 to 6 postdoctoral PhD or postgraduate MDs, per year (12 total over 5-years), in two tracks of scientists (for Ph.D. or M.D. candidates) and surgeon-scientists (for MD Candidates). All candidates must have a strong desire to pursue a career in academic medicine focusing on translational research. The ideal successful PhD candidates will have completed their training and potentially, 0-1 years of postdoctoral work. The ideal successful MD candidates will have received their MD and completed residency in urology, gynecology, or family medicine at an ACGME accredited program, and have a history of research. The CUTRTP is based on 3 training pillars: 1) a translational focus for trainees with basic and clinica mentors to yield greater impact on improved patient care and outcomes 2) recruitment of the top researchers from other fields at CWRU as trainers of future investigators, 3) didactic and professional training, with milestones, evaluated by an independent Evaluation Committee. Using a structured curriculum, we propose to train a group of scientists and surgeon-scientists to focus on translational urology research in 3 main areas: a) genitourinary cancers, b) female pelvic floor disorders, and c) urological complications of obesity and diabetes. All trainees will receive the same level and commitment of mentoring throughout their 2 years of devoted research and must compete for the 2nd year position with other qualified trainees. A group of 29 outstanding trainers from 15 departments with a cumulative NIH-funding total of approximately $30 million have come together in the CUTRTP to ensure selection, recruitment, training, and delivery of some of the best scientists and surgeon-scientists in urological diseases.
Urological diseases may be life-threatening (including kidney and prostate cancers) or cause severe deterioration in quality of life (including urinary incontinence). As the U.S. population ages, these conditions will likely cause an even greater burden to patients and the healthcare system. This proposal would ensure training and development of new highly-qualified scientists and surgeon-scientists to ensure continued research into new treatment strategies for urological diseases using a bench to bedside approach to ultimately improve patient care.
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