There is a profound need for newly trained physician/scientists to enter academic careers in Neonatology. The Division of Neonatology at Rainbow Babies &Children's Hospital has, for several decades, trained fellowship graduates to assume leadership roles in Neonatology, both nationally and internationally, and is uniquely qualified to meet this challenge. In this proposal we seek to complement our existing scientific strengths in respiratory neurobiology, brain development and neurodevelopmental outcome with a focus on inflammation. This will enable trainees to address the broad spectrum of neonatal morbidities. We have assembled an accomplished M.D., and Ph.D. mentoring faculty with scientific expertise in these three thematic areas, encompassing both basic translational and patient oriented research. We will recruit trainees to a two year intensive research immersion under the mentorship of established investigators within one of these thematic areas and a mentorship committee which may include K-funded junior faculty preceptors to serve as trainee role models. As the primary mentor experience of the trainee is key, we have chosen mentoring faculty with a strong track record for physician/scientist training and will provide close monitoring of the trainee/mentorship relationship. Trainees will be exposed to a well structured didactic program designed to introduce them to "team science", and provide all the necessary skills for academic career development. Optional curricular activities will be designed for the chosen field of basic science or epidemiologic research [e.g., award of a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Research]. Oversight will occur via both stringent internal Steering Committee review [meeting benchmarks, program retreat, etc.] and an External Review Committee comprised of highly regarded academic leaders in neonatology. Recruitment of competitive trainees to the program will particularly focus on minority candidates for which we have a strong track record. Trainees will have ample opportunity via existing Institutional NIH Career Development Awards to competitively transition from fellowship to faculty as basic translational or patient oriented researchers committed to improving neonatal health.
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