Funds are requested for the second cycle of the Kansas Training Program in Neurological and Rehabilitation Sciences.
The aim of the program is to provide interdisciplinary practical training and theoretical instruction in translational research in basic and clinical aspects of neuroscience, especially as it applies to neurological conditions amenable to rehabilitative treatments. The interdisciplinary nature of this offering is unique in that basic science trainees participate in clinical aspects of neurological disorders and clinical trainees are exposed to laboratory research and basic neurobiological mechanisms. During the first round of funding, the program directly supported 12 full-time, predoctoral trainees and 40 short-term, summer trainees. While the program is only four years old, some of the full-time trainees are now beginning their postdoctoral training and academic careers. The training program utilizes basic science and clinical research expertise of the faculty to cross- fertilize the training experience. Didactic training includes core curricula for predoctoal students in the Integrated Graduate Program in Biomedical Science, the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, the MD/PhD program or the Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Science, providing a firm groundwork for understanding basic genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms. Besides the two to three years of support offered to full-time trainees, short-term, summer training experiences are offered to medical and health professions (Doctorate in Physical Therapy) students. The summer training program is designed to expose clinical students to the complex interdisciplinary approaches needed to maximize neurorehabilitation approaches. The summer research experience has made the short-term trainees more competitive for top flight residencies. Because of their research experience in this training program, some of the summer trainees altered their career path to develop into clinician-scientists. The faculty is composed of 26 basic science and clinical mentors, along with 16 teaching faculty. The primary faculty are located within eight Departments in two Schools at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The strength of this group is evidenced by the expertise and caliber of the research faculty, the outstanding research infrastructure, the focus on translating basic neuroscience discoveries into treatments for neurological disorders, and the collaborative interactions between the basic and clinical faculty that are needed for an effective interdisciplinary training program. Laboratory research and apprenticeships, courses, seminars, guest lectures, journal clubs, data sessions, and poster presentations are included in the program to ensure frequent interactions between the trainees and faculty. A unique aspect of the offering is a multidisciplinary clinical rotation with faculty in Neurology, Physical Therapy ad Rehabilitation Medicine. The recruitment and selection of trainees is overseen by an Internal Advisory Committee, with input from the participating faculty. In addition, the program is monitored by an External Advisory Committee composed of national leaders in graduate training in neuroscience and rehabilitation science.

Public Health Relevance

This proposal seeks funding for the second cycle of a training program in Neurological and Rehabilitation Sciences. This unique program provides interdisciplinary predoctoral training for future basic and clinical scientists in the rapidly evoling field of neurorehabilitation. The program will help ensure that both bench scientists and health care workers are prepared to fully and rapidly exploit the exciting new discoveries now emerging in this dynamic field.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DRG-D (90))
Program Officer
Nitkin, Ralph M
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University of Kansas
Schools of Medicine
Kansas City
United States
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