This application is for renewal of a research training grant in cardiothoracic surgery that has been continuously funded since 1994. It is anticipated that in the next ten years there will be a shortage of cardiothoarcic surgeons. To meet the future needs it is essential that we train an increased number of academic surgeons. An essential element is training these individuals to be independent investigators. Therefore, the overall aims of the program are to provide a stimulating environment and research training for academic cardiothoracic surgeons. The specific goals are to:1)attract the most innovative, inquisitive, diverse, and motivated candidates;2) provide them with the highest possible level of training in the basic science of cardiovascular and pulmonary physiology and pathology;and 3)foster critical thought to prepare the trainees for an independent academic career and leadership role. A strength of the program is its interdisciplinary approach to scientific problem solving in which clinically recognized problems are studied in animal models of human disease at the integrative, cellular, and molecular levels, which can then be translated to clinical solutions. A key component of this training program is the faculty, which includes 26 faculty members with over $22 million of NIH support and extensive experience with research mentoring. They represent four separate departments with a history of collaborative research. Over the last 25 years, our laboratory has trained 72 postdoctoral research fellows. Of these 46 (64%) are in academic medicine. Six are division chiefs or department chairpersons, and one is a principal investigator at the NIH. The NIH T32 training grant has been key support for this training. Prior to the start of the present NIH training grant only 7% of trainees were female and 3% were from underrepresented minorities. Since the start of this training grant in 1994, 26% of trainees have been female and 10% have been minorities. Many of them are in leadership positions in their institutions. We propose to continue this training program and request support for five trainees.
It is anticipated that there will be a shortage of heart and lung surgeons in the next decade. To meet this need it is essential that there are strong medical school programs to train surgeons. These surgeons need to be independent researchers so that they can advance the practice of cardiac and lung surgery and train the next generation of surgeons.
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