This application seeks to renew an Institutional Research Training Grant that supports fellowship training in the Department of Pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center. The long-term objective of the training program is to foster the growth and development of pediatric investigators who are prepared to pursue independent academic careers examining important issues relevant to the health and wellbeing of children. The program will exploit the rich research and training resources at Duke University, including a cadre of faculty in pediatrics and other departments who share common research interests and frequent scholarly interactions. The program will generally provide funding for two years of investigation and will emphasize the application of cell and molecular biologic approaches and rigorous clinical and epidemiologic methods to improve our understanding of the processes that underlie pediatric diseases and to develop new and effective therapies for children. Trainees will have access to sufficient space and resources and will benefit from the extensive educational activities at Duke University, including didactic coursework, journal clubs, and relevant seminars. The principal investigator and the program director will receive assistance from an internal advisory board and an external advisory board to select candidate trainees, to review the scholarly progress of trainees, and to ensure the optimal operation of the program. The collaboration of established pediatric investigators and outstanding scientists in other departments who are pursuing questions relevant to pediatrics provides a unique opportunity for the training of pediatric fellows in the application of experimental methods to childhood diseases. As such, this program should foster the development of new pediatric scholars to lead the way for future advances in child health.
There is a paramount need for individuals knowledgeable in clinical aspects of pediatrics and skilled in modern scientific methods who will develop novel approaches to the understanding and treatment of childhood diseases and who will thereby improve child health. The proposed training program will develop talented pediatric fellows into pediatric physician-scientists who will pursue independent academic careers and meet this need.
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