This renewal for years 36-40 of the Program in """"""""Multidisciplinary Training in Pulmonary Diseases"""""""" at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supports six postdoctoral trainees with M.D., M.D./Ph.D. or Ph.D. degrees for research training in Respiratory Medicine, emphasizing a joint training program for Medicine and Pediatric trainees. The Program provides multidisciplinary training in basic, translation and clinical research within the pulmonary divisions of the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics and the three centers devoted to understanding lung health and disease. The breadth of training provided by the Program is expanded by faculty from 13 clinical (4) and basic science (9) departments in the Schools of Medicine and Public Health and the College of Arts and Sciences. M.D. trainees will enter a 3-5 year clinical and research training experience designed to provide them with skills required for a career in academic pulmonary medicine. Ph.D. trainees will typically enter in the second year of their post-doctoral fellowship, and they will be well integrated into the translational and clinical research components, as well as the basic science. Each trainee will have a scholarly oversight committee that includes trainers from varying disciplines who will facilitate their scientific growth. Each area of lung research offered by the Program is multidisciplinary in nature and includes the genetic basis of airways diseases, particularly cystic fibrosis and primary ciliary dyskinesia, gene therapy, cell and molecular biology of airway epithelia, development and maturation of airway epithelia, purinoceptor structure/function, endothelial cell biology and vascular permeability during inflammation, inflammatory and innate immune responses during infection, the control of airway inflammation, basic and translational proteomics of airways, the airway microbiome in health and in cystic fibrosis and COPD, airway function and leukocyte trafficking in COPD, comparative effectiveness research in COPD, lung cancer, the responses to injury by physical, chemical, and microbial agents, clinical and basic studies in asthma, outcomes research and clinical trials in critical care, and clinical studies of the early pathogenesis and therapy of cystic fibrosis. Novel programs that exemplify the multi-disciplinary nature include the Virtual Lung Project, the COPD-Lung Cancer Working Group, and the Pediatric Airway Modeling Project, each of which require cross-disciplinary interactions amongst a very wide range of expertise to accomplish their goals. Clinical studies will be integrated with basic observations using translational physiologic, biochemical, molecular and genetic technologies and will provide training in state-of-the-art bioinformatics, database design, use and analyses, and statistical interpretation. Emphasis is on mechanisms underlying common and rare lung diseases in pediatric and adult populations and development of novel pharmacologic and gene therapy strategies for treatment. Our Program provides an opportunity for trainees to develop as scientists and become independent investigators within the national community.

Public Health Relevance

Our Program will provide young M.D., M.D./Ph.D. and Ph.D. investigators with state-of-the-art research training in common and rare lung diseases affecting the pediatric and adult populations. Lung diseases such as lung infections including pneumonia, cigarette smoke-associated lung diseases, genetic diseases of the airways including cystic fibrosis and primary ciliary dyskinesia, and lung diseases with an environmental component such as asthma and other allergic lung diseases are common and are associated with devastating morbidity, mortality and use of health care dollars. Our Program includes 52 faculty serving as mentors for our trainees and provides a highly multidisciplinary pulmonary scientific community that creates an outstanding opportunity for trainees to develop their technical and intellectual abilities as scientists and become independent investigators within the national community, pursuing important questions about the pathogenesis and course of lung diseases in pediatric and adult populations and developing novel pharmacologic and gene therapy treatments.

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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Tigno, Xenia
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Chapel Hill
United States
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