The Molecular Medicine Training Program of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is specifically designed to train pre-doctoral students to take scientific advances from "bench to bedside". It takes advantage of four factors to create an environment particularly suited to this purpose. First, this Program is located in the Lerner Research Institute where physicians and scientists from both the Cleveland Clinic and the School of Medicine have historically worked closely together to focus cutting edge research upon the causes and treatments of human illness. Second, a novel core curriculum has been designed throughout the first year to provide a solid foundation in basic scientific principles presented in the context of human organ systems and disease. Research presentations and rotations, seminars journal clubs, and a student retreat reinforce the translational application of the basic scientific principles throughout training. Third, the Training Program contains a broad range of trainers heading outstanding translational research laboratories in which our trainees perform rotations and thesis work. The range and strength of these laboratories, their collaborative interactions, and the commitment of the trainers to support of the Training Program is evidence of the collegial scientific environment within the Training Program. Finally, to ensure that each of the trainees comes to understand the clinical aspects of their area of investigation, each selects a Clinical Mentor who helps organize an individual clinical experience. Through this experience trainees are introduced to patient diagnosis and treatment on a first hand basis. To further emphasize the connection to clinical practice, students in the Training Program take a joint course with medical students of the Lerner College of Medicine. Experience has shown that these medical students who are in training to be physician scientists, and our trainees who are finding clinical application to basic scientific observations, have much to learn from one another. This proposal seeks funding for 7 trainees within the Training Program. With admission of its fourth class, it has become clear that the Training Program has gained national recognition and attracted an ever increasing number of applicants, with 27 training grant eligible trainees currently associated with the Program. The trainees are eagerly preparing to take their places as the leaders of the next generations of NIH funded laboratories translating basic scientific principles to address patient needs. The fact that this Program was specifically designed to address the needs for translational research identified in the recent NIH roadmap explains its youth, and emphasizes the importance of promoting its growth and maturation.
A major goal of modern science is to translate laboratory findings into improved diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. The Training Program in Molecular Medicine is designed to train young scientists to accomplish this task with a specifically designed curriculum, training in outstanding laboratories, and direct interactions with practicing clinicians.
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