The goal of this training program is to prepare young investigators to perform clinically applicable and translational research in the field of trauma science. The program is based at the Burn and Shock Trauma Institute of Loyola University in Chicago, a unique, highly collaborative research environment that includes more than 50 people, including seven principle investigators, four additional scientific faculty, five clinical specialists in trauma and critical care, eight post-doctoral fellows (both MDs and Ph.D.s), nine graduate students, two research nurses, six research technicians, and two support staff. The program solicits applications from resident physicians and post-doctoral Ph.D.s to enter a two-year period of intense research training in traumatology. The program, which has been in place since 2000, currently accepts one new trainee each year, and a goal for the next cycle is to expand the program to include the appointment of two new trainees each year. A specific plan for the recruitment of underrepresented minorities, which includes our efforts at local and national levels and a comprehensive plan to promote educational and mentorship opportunities for young minority students at school, undergraduate and medical school levels are provided. Trainees are allowed to select from among seven different principal investigators who are each experienced mentors in trauma-related research, including 1) myelopoietic alterations after injury, 2) alcohol induced immune changes following burn and sepsis, 3) immune regulation in aging, 4) wound healing and vascular repair, 5) alcohol induced changes in bone mineral metabolism and fracture healing and 6) ubiquitin- proteosome system in trauma biology. The training plan emphasizes a close working relationship between each trainee and their mentor, and includes laboratory research, seminars, journal clubs, training in grant writing, and didactic coursework in both statistics and research bioethics. Written research proposals, formal research presentations, and semi-annual evaluations are required of all trainees. To develop an appreciation for clinical problems, Ph.D. trainees participate in selected clinical conferences and attend rounds on the Trauma and Burn Services during defined periods. Our long-term goal is to increase the number of clinicians and Ph.D. scientists who are qualified and motivated to work together to address fundamental questions in transitional trauma research.
Loss of life and productivity due to trauma is one of the major societal problems at the national level. Understanding the biology of traumatology to improve the standard of care of the critically injured patients is an essential element in our battle to reduce the impact of trauma on society and thus improve national productivity. Training future clinicians who will take care of trauma patients in the science of trauma biology /will lead to new interventional and therapeutic strategies to the critically injured patients.
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