The rapid evolution of biomedical science in increasingly translational directions requires that we identify strategies to help the next generation of scientists navigate a complex research landscape in which fluent communication and collaboration between scientific disciplines is essential for success. The Center for Organogenesis at Michigan was formed in 1995 to unite basic, applied and clinical scientists with a common goal: To understand the basic mechanisms by which organs and tissues are formed and maintained, and to use this knowledge to create long-lasting artificial organs, improved stem cell therapies and effective organ transplantation systems that will correct acquired and genetic human diseases. The Training Program in Organogenesis, initiated 14 years ago, is an integral part of the educational mission of the Center. Its goals are: a) To provide intellectual and technical training in the field of organogenesis;and b) To promote interdisciplinary thinking by exposing trainees to research that crosses boundaries between the clinical, basic and applied sciences. These goals are accomplished by encouraging a two-mentor structure for research training and requiring trainees to participate in several specific training activities: a formal course in Organogenesis, Organogenesis Seminar series, Monthly Trainee Meeting, International Symposium. Trainees also actively shape the Training program, proposing new initiatives such as Bioartography, a novel combination of art, science and public education and Crosstalk, a clinical case-based forum run by one clinical and one basic scientist. Additionally, all trainees have the option to be paired with a clinical co-mentor who will facilitae their exposure clinical management of patients and their diseases. This competitive renewal requests support for 5 predoctoral and 3 postdoctoral training slots (one specifically targeted to an M.D. fellow). Trainees come primarily from the laboratories of the 36 listed mentors of the Training Program, all of whom are highly recognized scientists. Formal competitive applications, reviewed by a selection committee, are required for appointment to the Training Program. The Program is monitored by several internal mechanisms and also by two External Advisors (Dr. Blanche Capel, Duke University;Dr. Christopher Wylie, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center) to ensure its continued responsiveness to demands of a continuously evolving research environment.
Central goals of the Training Program in Organogenesis are: a) To provide intellectual and technical training in the field of organogenesis;and b) To promote interdisciplinary thinking by exposing trainees to research that crosses boundaries between the clinical, basic and applied sciences. Support for 5 predoctoral and 3 postdoctoral fellows per year is requested.
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