This competitive renewal occurs in the 25th year of our T32 program under a new Director, Dr. Mark Gladwin, with a translational approach to training in pulmonary biology and medicine, and at a time of unprecedented growth and outstanding success within the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine (PACCM) at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Gladwin has instilled an ethos of translational bench-to-bedside research, a structure of extended leadership and support based around distinct and financially independent Institutes and Centers, a faculty that is comprised of 14% under-represented minorities and 33% women, the pursuit of high impact science, and the attraction of extramural funding that has engendered a unique training environment. During the last cycle of this T32 fellows publications have risen substantially;13 K and two Parker B Francis awardees are currently on faculty;and seven K-awardees have transitioned to R01-level funding. The talent in our recruitment pool of postdoctoral MDs and PhDs and predoctoral students rises yearly and Dr. Gladwin has introduced novel grass roots initiatives to improve the recruitment of under- represented minorities. The stability afforded by a committed institution, aligned with UPMC support of research, has created a training environment where career development and the path to independence is entirely based on science. Our training plan has been invigorated by establishing a four year Bench-to- Bedside Translational Pulmonary/ Critical Care Medicine Fellowship;pairing basic lung biology and pulmonary medicine mentors to form translational research training units;structural separation of our ACGME funded clinical requirements from our NIH T32 funded research activities;a three day off-campus fellows Research Career Retreat;month-long exposures to regulatory activities at the NIH, FDA, and Industry;a monthly grant writing workshop;and a formalized K-to-R transition program. Our training plan is structured around Individualized Development Plans that emphasize quantifiable outcomes based on submission and presentation of abstracts, publication of original peer-reviewed research, pursuit of career development awards, completion of didactic courses, and graduation from Masters/Ph.D. programs. Our Training Committee consists of the Director and six senior faculty trainers with expertise in basic, translational, and clinical research and trainng. The Training Faculty are divided into seven Institutes and Centers with embedded translational structure and supported by cores in (1) Genomics and Personalized Medicine and (2) Outcomes and Biostatistics. To ensure continuity of our training program, three of the Training Faculty are R01 funded Assistant Professors. An interactive evaluation process revolves around the Trainees, Training Faculty, Training Committee, and Internal Advisory Board that is overseen by an External Advisory Board. A professional social networking site has been established to formalize an ongoing electronic communication with our former trainees to track their career development. In summary, we are excited by the training opportunities that will be afforded by this T32 at a time when research in pulmonary biology and medicine at the University of Pittsburgh is experiencing extraordinary success.
The long history of training success within the Division of PACCM at the University of Pittsburgh is now invigorated with new leadership, a focus on high impact translational science, and the outstanding accomplishments of our trainees in publications, attainment of career development awards, and transition to independent careers. We aim to institutionalize our success on the foundations of this T32 to produce a new generation of scientists with the training, creativity, and resources to be future leaders in the field of Pulmonary Biology and Medicine.
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