The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) seeks a third renewal of its successful multidisciplinary postdoctoral Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) in trauma, burns and peri-operative injury. The goal of this training grant is to provide multidisciplinary research training for postdoctorates in trauma to develop future independent investigators who will use these skills in research-intensive and research-related careers that increase understanding of the mechanisms of traumatic injury and inform clinical practice. To accomplish these goals, our program recruits and selects postdoctoral candidates who are interested in pursuing an academic career in trauma-related research each calendar year for two-year positions. At the end of the two years of training, each fellow is able to: 1) critically analyze available published data; 2) formulate a focused hypothesis; 3) design and perform necessary experiments to test the hypothesis; 4) analyze interpret results to draw appropriate conclusions and potentially modify experimental strategies; 5) effectively present the results of their research both orally and in writing; and 6) prepare a competitive research proposal. Over 15 years, 52% (10/19) of fellows who completed their training are currently in research intensive or related careers positions and 52% fellows have been awarded independent funding. 208 publications have resulted from the award over the past 10 years. Since its creation in 2001, this T32 training program has evolved, and recently new elements have been added to advance and focus our training efforts. In the proposed program plan, we have kept the global theme of trauma with particular focus on resuscitation, traumatic brain injury, and organ injury/dysfunction and added a new and developing focus area of burns. Cross-cutting areas of specialization include quality of care, informatics, stem cells, and innovation/entrepreneurship. Dr. John Holcomb remains the Program Director of the training program and he is assisted by 9 members of the Steering Committee who bring varied expertise and vast mentoring experience. The leadership receives guidance from an External Advisory Committee. Each trainee has a Primary Mentor who is responsible for ensuring that fellows receive appropriate training to design effective, ethical and informative experimental projects. A list of Resource Faculty members are available to assist in project execution. Taken together, this comprehensive approach ensures that a well-rounded, diverse faculty will assist and guide these young scientists along the path to academic independence and significant contributions to the care of injured patients.
Trauma is a serious healthcare problem. It is the leading cause of death in people from 1-46 years and because it is a disease of young people, injury is the leading cause of life years lost. Funding this proposed trauma research training program will provide a cohort of future clinical and translational scientists to increase basic and clinical understanding of trauma-related illness and improve the outcome of injured patients.
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