The Cardiovascular Sciences Training Program (CSTP) at the University of Chicago provides both pre- doctoral and post-doctoral training. The postdoctoral trainees who participate in the CSTP include both M.D. and Ph.D. trainees. The M.D. trainees are physician scientists most commonly recruited from the Cardiology Fellowship Program at the University of Chicago, and the Ph.D. trainees have received their graduate degrees in diverse areas and seek additional training in the cardiovascular sciences. The CSTP also supports predoctoral training, an element essential to this integrated training program. The postdoctoral training strikes a balance between clinically-trained M.D. fellows who plan careers combining research with clinical medicine, and outstanding Ph.D. fellows who are dedicated to cardiovascular research. The CSTP offers training in six core components: 1) Molecular Cardiology, 2) Genetics/genomics, 3) Development and stem cell biology, 4) Imaging and Translational Biology, 5) Systems Biology, and 6) Vascular &Inflammation. Each of these areas has as its scientific mission furthering our understanding of cardiovascular function in health and disease. To this end, participants in this training program receive didactic, laboratory-based, ethics, and analytic training in order to prepare for careers in cardiovascular research. We propose to continue supporting 3 pre-doctoral and 6 post-doctoral trainees. The range of experience for the post-doctoral trainees ranges from 0 to 6 years of post-doctoral training since M.D. fellows have often completed postgraduate medical training at the time they begin in full time research in the CSTP. In the last training period, we emphasized programs in genetic and genomics reflecting the growth in these fields and their successful application to the cardiovascular sciences. We also enriched training opportunities in regenerative sciences since important advances have been made for cardiac and vascular biology in this area. In this next interval, we have additionally enlisted trainers with accomplishments in systems biology and analysis responding to needs to take better advantage of emerging and existing "big data" and the expertise on the University of Chicago campus. Systems analysis will be integrated with cardiac genetics and development and regeneration biology, since these topics are critical to define the normal and abnormal function of the heart.
The Cardiovascular Sciences Training Program is dedicated to preparing the next generation of scientists who aim to understand the normal and abnormal function of the heart and vascular system. Heart disease remains a leading killer of Americans and therefore, we need to have investigators who are well trained in cardiac biology. Over this next training period, we have added mentors who are experts in systems analysis to take better advantage of large biomedical data sets that will help us better diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease.
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