This multidisciplinary, 35-year training program is designed to develop independent scientists competent to critically utilize the principles of basic and clinical cardiovascular research to develop improved and novel therapeutic strategies designed to alleviate and prevent cardiovascular disease. Its centerpiece is the intense and sustained training in cardiovascular research of each trainee for a 2-year minimum in a research project supervised by a faculty preceptor. A hallmark of the program is recognition that true mentoring and skills development need to be individualized. During the current grant interval the Division: 1) expanded its Center for Cardiovascular Research;2) was awarded a SCCOR in Cardiac Dysfunction and Disease that includes a Clinical Research Skills Development Core;3) established collaborative research efforts with the Mid-America Heart Institute outcomes-oriented clinical research program and the Cardiovascular Research Outcomes Consortium;4) was awarded, in response to the NIH Roadmap Exploratory Centers for Interdisciplinary Research initiative, a planning center grant entitled, """"""""Planning Interdisciplinary Studies of the Diabetic Heart"""""""". During this same period Washington University acquired a new K30 Clinical Research Curriculum Award and launched BioMed 21, a strategic initiative to enhance biomedical research through increased cross-fertilization of ideas across disciplines between the Medical School and Hilltop campus. These changes have led to expansion of our basic and clinical research facilities, successful recruitment of additional research faculty, increased scientific collaborations among program faculty, and a paradigm shift in basic and clinical research training. The 22 preceptors from 14 departments or divisions are experienced in conveying principles underlying effective basic and clinical research as well as techniques needed to trainees in their laboratories. They have expertise in biochemistry;biostatistics;bioengineering;epidemiology;cardiovascular medicine;cell, molecular, and vascular biology;computer sciences;pathology;pharmacology;physics;physiology;and radiology. They share interests and link basic and clinical research in themes that focus on cardiac electrophysiology;atherosclerosis, vascular biology, and coagulation;molecular basis and genetics of human cardiac disease;myocardial metabolism, perfusion, and function;imaging;and epidemiology and outcomes assessment. Each trainee participates in a core curriculum on biostatistics, ethical issues in research, scientific integrity, manuscript and grant preparation, and laboratory safety;workshops that provide in-depth training in the major investigative areas;research seminars;and elective course work keyed to each trainee's research area. This program has been consistently oversubscribed with highly qualified candidates. Candidates for the 6 positions requested each year are selected based on past achievements and the likelihood that they will pursue an academic research career

Public Health Relevance

Heart and vascular disease is responsible for a great deal suffering and death in the United States. The key objective of this research-training program is to develop independent scientists competent to improve the care of patients. The program was initially funded 35 years ago and has had a strong record of training individuals committed to careers in heart and vascular research. Because of the continued national decline in physician researchers skilled in research, this training program will continue to focus on training physician scientists. Each trainee works in close association with an established investigator that is actively involved in high-impact cutting edge research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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NHLBI Institutional Training Mechanism Review Committee (NITM)
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Carlson, Drew E
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Washington University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Saint Louis
United States
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