Modern anesthesiology and pain medicine have increasingly become an interdisciplinary specialty of medicine that requires integrated knowledge in anesthesiology, critical care medicine, neurobiology, pharmacology, structural and computational biology, pulmonary physiology, and molecular biology and genetics. This competitive renewal application seeks funding for years 6-10 of our successful T32 training program in postgraduate anesthesia research training at the University of Pittsburgh. Our primary goal is to continue training physician scientists to lead the future intellectual pursuits n anesthesiology beyond the confines of the traditional provision of anesthesia and to become independently funded investigators and leaders in the field. The trainees from our first funding cycle have demonstrated success in this path, producing numerous peer-reviewed publications, achieving seed and startup grant funding, and presenting at scientific conferences. We propose to train four fellows in years 6-7 and five in years 8-10. A team of 33 principal training faculty,all with excellent training records and successful research programs funded by the NIH and other agencies, have been carefully selected. Programmed training and research activities will target anesthesiology-related problems defined in the broadest sense. A minimum of two-years of training is planned using a combination of structured didactic and interactive teaching on both a group and individual basis as well as one-on-one mentoring in laboratory/clinical research. Multiple courses and online training sessions in research integrity are mandatory for all trainees. Departmental, institutional, and independent efforts are established to actively recruit underrepresented minority trainees into the program. The administrative infrastructure consists of the Oversight Committee chaired by the Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology and the Executive Committee chaired by the Program Director. The executive committee, working closely with the training faculty, will be in charge of the selection, appointment, and assignment of the trainees, and will regularly review and evaluate them. Continued NIH support of this postdoctoral training program, which focuses primarily on training of physician scientists, will provide both unique opportunities and critically needed resources for the next generation of academic anesthesiologists to integrate multidisciplinary knowledge from the bench-top to the bedside.
Close to 50 million medical procedures are performed each year that require professional care by anesthesiologists. These procedures, as well as many diseases such as cancer, are accompanied by chronic and acute pain. The very best physician scientists are needed to lead the future intellectual pursuits in anesthesiology and pain medicine and to translate research findings into improved clinical outcomes. This program aims to train academic anesthesiologists to become leaders in the anesthesia field.
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