The goal of the program is to produce outstanding biomedical scientists who expand the envelope of our knowledge of the mechanisms, manifestations, prevention, and cures of lung disease. The program combines intensive training in a single area of investigation within a multidisciplinary academic environment. The training is available at both the pre- and post-doctoral levels, supporting 4 pre-doctoral and 14 post-doctoral trainees per year. A PhD program may be completed in 5 years. At the postdoctoral level, qualified MD or PhD candidates complete 2 or more years of training. A wide range of training opportunities are provided by a large interactive network of faculty supported by individual, collaborative and inter-institutional research grants. These opportunities include lung-related research in behavioral science, cellular and molecular biology, environmental science, clinical trials, epidemiology, global health, immunology and infection, airway biology, sleep biology and vascular biology. The core of the experience is the close relationship between a primary mentor, co-mentors and the trainee. This is supplemented by individual development plans, formal course work, core conferences, training in responsible research conduct, communication skills, career planning, and grant writing. Postdoctoral trainees in the clinical sciences can acquire a Masters or Doctoral degree. Fellows and mentors are reviewed by a committee that monitors the training and career development of fellows, and promotes mentoring skills. Doctoral students are reviewed by a thesis committee that provides both support and guidance. Over 15 years, 85% of graduates take 3 or more years of training supported by 56 individual F32 NRSA awards, and 95% of graduates take full-time academic positions after graduation. Our graduates have been awarded 47 mentored K awards, and 19 other non-government career development awards. Thus, the program has met its goal to train the next generation of leaders in lung research.
Lung disease is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. Despite an expanding understanding of the causes of lung disease, treatments that cure these disorders are lacking and most treatments are symptomatic or supportive. The goal of this program is to train highly qualified individuals in the research disciplines that are necessary to find better treatments for these disorders.
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