Regenerative medicine encompasses both tissue engineering and self-healing, and the discipline has emerged as a hugely valuable one with immense ramifications for improving human health. While the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) has had resounding success in its short existence, we lack an integrated mechanism to support training of the pre-doctoral students that represent the next generation of regenerative medicine researchers. Thus, we seek support for a new T32-training program to meet this need. The proposed program is a logical extension of the ongoing multidisciplinary collaboration of investigators at WFIRM, all located in a new state-of-the-at building on the downtown campus of Wake Forest School of Medicine. WFIRM has a unique infrastructure that provides facilities and expertise for translational studies, from basic preclincal findings all the way through Phase 2 clinical trials. Training will include traditional didactic course work, a variety of WFIRM-wide training activities, participation in cutting-edge research projects, grant writing, and scientific presentations, and exposure to ethical issues in regenerative medicine. There will be 6 areas of research focus: 1) urological~ 2) cardiovascular~ 3) musculoskeletal~ 4) endocrine tissue~ 5) stem cells~ &6) biomaterials/enabling technologies. Each area of focus contains at least five faculty members with complementary expertise, who will participate in the training and supervision of graduate students as co- mentors. Students will be selected from 3 Tracks within the newly configured structure of the WFU Graduate School: Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, Biomedical Engineering, or Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology. After a common 1st year curriculum (that is unique to each track), students will identify one of our 10 primary mentors (of the 19 total program faculty), take two additional regenerative medicine-based courses, and choose a graduate committee that will guide the student through their thesis work. The Program Director, Dr. George Christ, has ultimate responsibility for the administration of the Training program, assisted by Dr. Anthony Attala (the Associate Director) and an Executive Committee composed of senior experienced trainers. A novel aspect of the proposed mentoring structure is the inclusion of seasoned faculty (Primary Mentors~ 10), young rising faculty (Mentors in Training~ 5), and senior faculty that have career-long mentoring experience (Emeritus Mentors~ 4). The training program will be reviewed and evaluated annually by an Internal Advisory Committee and by an External Advisory Committee, whose members have extensive experience managing training programs as well as nationally renowned research programs in regenerative medicine. Given the world-class stature of WFIRM, our extensive national and international collaborations, and the restructuring of our graduate program to reflect the need for multi-disciplinary training, this application provides a unique training opportunity. As such, this proposal is timely, thoughtfully planned, and specifically designed to meet the burgeoning need for well-trained investigators in the many facets of regenerative medicine.
The proposed T32 training program is a logical extension of the ongoing multidisciplinary collaborative research of the outstanding faculty t the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM). WFIRM's unique infrastructure provides facilities and expertise for translational studies, from basic biology, to preclinical findings and Phase 2 clinical trials. Training will include: didactic course work, a wide variety o WFIRM-wide training activities, participation in cutting-edge research projects, training n grant writing and scientific presentations, as well as exposure to ethical issues in regeneratie medicine.