This is a competitive renewal for a third term of the Vascular Biology and Hypertension Post-Doctoral Training Grant enabling both M.D. and Ph.D. fellows to study the vascular biology, signaling cascades, ionic currents and molecular events leading to systemic cardiovascular pathologies, such as hypertension, coronary artery disease (CAD), etc., supervised by NIH-funded mentors.
The specific aims of the program are: 1) to provide outstanding research training to fellows in various disciplines, in the areas of vascular biology, cell signaling and pathologic states, which lead to pathological events, including hypertension, stroke, CAD and other cardiovascular anomalies;2) to prepare trainees for careers as physicians and/or research scientists in biomedical research either as a primary career pursuit or in conjunction with clinical practice;and 3) to increase the number of M.D./D.O. trainees who pursue careers in academic medicine associated with translation of research findings into clinical practice. Skill sets will focus on a fundamental understanding of genetics, molecular biology, analytical chemistry, vascular biology, and whole animal physiology. Trainees will be taught the usefulness of animal models and in-vitro techniques for determining mechanisms of action of vascular and cardiac muscle cell activation. Techniques for measurements of blood flow, including radiographic, digital x-ray, fMRI, laser dopier, and confocal microscopy will be taught. The essentials of free-radical biology and generation of reactive oxygen species also will be taught. There will be increased efforts to allow trainees to translate the basic findings obtained in the research labs into clinical applications. The program has trained 5 M.D.s and 6 Ph.D.s over the past 4 years, with 4 fellows still in the program. Typically the number of applicants exceeds the number of available slots;however, our recent experience has been that following the match process, there is increasing matriculation to other institutions, usually leaving us with 6 fellows enrolled at any one time. We also attempt to always have one slot available for exceptional fellows who apply late. The quality of training is expected to be outstanding given our ability to recruit 29 NIH-funded mentors into the program. We also have direct access to the T35 Training Program, allowing us to introduce beginning medical student trainees to physician scientists at the end of their training who are about to enter medical specialties. These graduating trainees thus become role models.
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