This application seeks support to establish a new post-doctoral training program in the field of trauma medicine. The program is motivated by the growing integrative cross-disciplinary basic, clinical and translational research in the molecular pathogenesis and treatment of injury and is the outgrowth of well-established formal graduate courses(Appendix I-3) and research programs in tissue injury and repair at the University of Chicago. Our programmatic growth is driven by the large potential clinical impact resulting from research advances into new molecular regeneration trauma therapies, Molecular regeneration of cellular membranes and protein structure as an approach to trauma research had its beginnings at the University of Chicago more than 21 years ago and has now widely validated and emerging as a self-sustaining field of research . Today, there is sufficient established derivative research across various universities and companies to justify a formal educational program. Reversing the consequences of trauma requires recovery of the lost barrier function of membranes, reformation of native macromolecular structure, control of oxygen biochemistry, nucleic acid repair, and reestablishment of metabolic energy charge. New investigators in this new field must have competences in cellular physiology, membrane biophysics, protein chemistry, oxygen biochemistry, nucleic acid repair, animal research methods, clinical research guidelines, as well as computational and diagnostic imaging of molecular function. The proposed training program meets these requirements. The University of Chicago's Biological Sciences Division is an ideal site to launch such a training program. First, the University has well established and well funded research programs covering all of the mentioned areas mentioned and more. The research efforts here are interdisciplinary and integrated, setting the stage for discovery. There are many state of the art core facilities that are detailed in the proposal. Moreover, trainees will have access to a recently NIH grant funded super-computer with capabilities unprecedented in biomedicine to model molecular dynamics of trauma and behavior of synthetic chaperones to regenerate normal molecular structure. In addition, we already have in place a multi-year history of teaching now required graduate courses specifically focused on cell injury co-taught by the training program mentors.
In the United States, trauma is the primary cause of human morbidity and mortality in the first four decades of life resulting in an increasing population of young people with permanent disabilities . This comes as an enormous cost. This unique training program will prepare Physician Scientists for clinical or basic/translational research careers in understanding the molecular pathogenesis and molecular regeneration of injured tissue following trauma.