This is a revised application for continued support of an established T32 Sleep Research Training Program that offers both predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows interdisciplinary training in a wide range of scientific disciplines that are central to the future of sleep research. Training will occur at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago by faculty who have an established track record of integrating the research and educational missions and strengths of the two universities, and who have built successful individual, as well as collaborative, research programs that are focused on areas of central importance to sleep research, chronobiology, and related disciplines. The combined research of the 10 primary training faculty will enable trainees to integrate cutting edge approaches and techniques in the areas of genetics, genomics, endocrinology, metabolism, pharacology, neurobiology, pulmonology, cognitive neuroscience, gerontology and chronobiology into their training in sleep research. Because the preceptors in this Training Program are actively involved in research at the molecular, cellular, systems, and behavioral levels, trainees will be trained in a rich environment of activities that are integrated together for the study of the basic mechanisms of sleep at all levels of biological organization. A key feature of this Training Program will be the training of students and fellows in both modern basic oriented research as well as patient oriented research using both animal models and humans for the study of sleep. A new feature in the Training Program includes plans for liason with industry to allow for exposure to translational research and research in non-academic environments, as well as bioinformatic/biomathematical expertise. An additional new feature of the Training Program is the use of a postdoctoral fellow individual development plan. This will facilitate mentoring as well as developing/customizing a training plan for each postdoctoral fellow. A final new addition to the Training Program is the involvement of a mentoring consultant. These new features will enhance the mission of the Training Program: not only to train the next generation of sleep researchers but also to give them the tools and foundation to be able to lead and develop their own professional careers to the fullest.
Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss have a major impact on public health, and are associated with a number of mental and physical diseases. The mentoring faculty on this Training Grant will utilize the strengths of their individual and integrated research programs for the training of the next generation of sleep researchers who will address the important health issues associated with sleep disorders and sleep loss.
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