Trauma is a leading health and social issue in the United States. Our proposed postdoctoral training program fulfills a serious national need in trauma research, with aims to develop and evaluate new monitoring strategies, novel methods of resuscitation, immunomodulation and hemostasis based on targets in clinically-relevant laboratory models of civilian and military trauma that can help translate the laboratory findings to the bedside. This postdoctoral training program in trauma is dedicated to translating new ideas from bench top to bedside. Each trainee will complete a 2-year fellowship and a Master's of Science in Clinical Investigation with a total of 10 trainees completing the program over the 5- year project period. The training program will be supported by the Trauma Institute of San Antonio, Texas (TRISAT) member institutions;an established congressionally-supported clinical cooperative of the city's three Level I trauma centers and United States Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR), a unique research laboratory in the Department of Defense (DOD) dedicated entirely to improving combat casualty care. The UTHSCSA Department of Surgery and the TRISAT consortium are uniquely qualified to fill the existing training gap for three reasons. First, the TRISAT consortium serves a large patient population (more than 8,000 trauma cases per year) with the physical resources and a highly qualified and dedicated staff of surgeons, scientists, and other experts who span a broad spectrum of topics related to trauma and critical care. Second, the TRISAT trauma hospitals work with the UTHSCSA to help improve battlefield readiness and outcome of trauma combat surgical care. Third, the UTHSCSA has had a long, successful history of translational research in other fields related to injury, ischemia and inflammation, including infectious disease, oncology, imaging, dentistry, and aging and several researchers in these disciplines have committed to mentor the postdoctoral trainees in their basic and clinical laboratories. The UTHSCSA Surgery Department has committed to training all residents in translational research for two years (following the second year of residency) as well as requiring that all residents complete the Master's of Science in Clinical Investigation. We must have a well-trained cadre of physician-scientists in critical care and trauma research if we are going to have improved outcomes and reduce mortality from trauma. Filling the current national gap in training is especially important because trauma is a leading health and social issue in the U.S. In fact, trauma exceeds years of life lost from cancer and heart disease combined and results in annual cost of over $260 billion in the United States.
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