The Cardiovascular Research program at Vanderbilt has a long and outstanding track record in training cardiovascular scientists in a broad range of disciplines from molecular biophysics and development biology to outcomes research. In this competing renewal application we propose to train 3 pre-doctoral and 7 postdoctoral trainees annually. Pre-doctoral students are identified during the process of application and recruitment to the Integrated Graduate Program at Vanderbilt. They will receive their doctoral degrees from one of several disciplines such as Cell and Developmental Biology, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, and Pharmacology. Post-doctoral trainees are physician-scientists recruited directly from Medical School via the Department of Medicine physician-scientist training pathway or from residency programs through the recruitment process for cardiovascular training. Trainees are supported for 1 to 3 years. In the period since the previous renewal of this award, the institution has continued to invest in its cardiovascular research programs, with recruitment of new faculty and the establishment of new laboratories and research programs. Annual NIH support for cardiovascular research in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine has grown 45% in the past 5 years. Similarly, across the Medical campus there is continuous growth and development of research programs and resources that offer a rich array of activity that directly impacts the quality of the training experience. The Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation courses provide outstanding training, which along with significant growth in clinical services at the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute create a clinical training program that clearly distinguishes Vanderbilt as an exceptionally strong environment for training clinical cardiovascular investigators. Growth in the basic cardiovascular sciences across campus is equally strong. New research initiatives such as the Center for Cardiac Regeneration, the Inherited Heart Disease Program, a Cardio-Oncology Research Program, and Vascular Biology Center are bench-to-bedside environments that allow trainees to envision the entire spectrum of basic, translational and clinical research that is necessary to transform clinical practice. Training and research in population science and comparative effectiveness has also continued to grow on campus. We have a growing and increasingly competitive applicant pool for training positions here at Vanderbilt. Simultaneously, we have increased diversity in the program over the last cycle, through both institutional initiatives here at Vanderbilt and via our alliance with Meharry Medical College and the Association of Black Cardiologists. Our trainees publish, move into faculty positions and attaining grant support, all evidence of the success of the program. Through the continuation and expansion of this training program, Vanderbilt is poised to make a significant impact on the training of cardiovascular scientists.
We are training the next generation of scientists with expertise in heart and vascular disease. These trainees will make discoveries during and after their training that will improve our understanding of and lead to new and improved treatment for heart and vascular disease.
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