This competitive renewal occurs as our T32 program enters its third decade of training researchers, physician- scientists, and visionary leaders in the field of pulmonary biology and medicine. Under the new leadership of Dr. Rama Mallampalli, the program builds on the legacy of previous directors, Dr. Augustine Choi (basic biology) and Dr. Mark Gladwin (translational science). Dr. Mallampalli brings his own focus on basic molecular physiology and development of novel therapeutics to create an innovative and entrepreneurial base to our ongoing theme of training in translational pulmonary research. The Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine (PACCM) provides an outstanding training environment and mentorship pool with a critical mass of basic, translational, and clinical researchers in pulmonary biology and medicine formed into discrete Centers and Institutes and led by internationally-recognized scientists. Our fellows and faculty publish high- impact science and our faculty compete successfully for NIH funding, currently holding 34 R grants, four U- grants, and three P01 grants, contributing to total research funding of more than $22 million in 2016. There are eight postdoctoral trainee slots in our T32, with a significant emphasis on training physician-scientists?18 of 22 trainees appointed in the previous cycle were MDs or MD/PhDs. Physician-scientist trainees commit to a three-year dedicated T32 research training period after completion of ACGME clinical requirements, characterized by a structured milestone-driven program that includes: a three day off-campus fellows research career retreat; translational core competencies; academic survival skills conference series; month-long exposures to regulatory activities at the NIH, FDA, and Industry; a monthly F/K-level grant writing workshop; a formalized K-to-R transition program; and a reimbursed grant review program. Our training plan is structured around individualized development plans that emphasize quantifiable outcomes (publications, career development awards, completion of didactic courses and graduate programs, transition to research and academic careers). Our current renewal offers several new initiatives, including: training within a Small Molecule Therapeutics Center; an innovative Entrepreneurial MBA in partnership with Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business; and the formation of a University of Pittsburgh T32 Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Consortium. The maturity of our training program is evident in the success of our 22 trainees in the last funding cycle, averaging ~3 publications per trainee, 12 F32 awards, one AHA fellowship, 5 K awards, and 3 foundation awards (2 PBF and one CF)?nine have transitioned to faculty appointments, one was recruited to the NIH, and 12 remain in training. Overall, 21 PACCM junior faculty have held, or continue to hold, K awards within the last funding cycle, and of those who have completed their K-tenure, 10 have achieved R-level funding through our K-to-R program. Thus, we have the trainee pool, leadership, advisory boards, training faculty and infrastructure to build on an already rich and successful translational training program.
The long history of training success within the Division of PACCM at the University of Pittsburgh is now invigorated with new leadership, has a focus on therapeutic discovery and translational science, and is characterized by trainees who continue to publish novel science, attain fellowship and career development awards, and transition to independent research careers. We aim to institutionalize our success on the foundation 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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