Program Abstract The complexity of cardiovascular disease has hindered our understanding of its deveopment and progression. To uncover the uncover the mechanisms by which genetic variation and environmental factors influence cardiovascular development and disease, the next generation of scientists will need to be trained to use a variety of approaches, technologies and model systems. In response to this demand the Integrative Vascular Biology (IVB) Pre-doctoral Training Program was established at UNC in 2002 to promote a collaborative interdisciplinary training environment for pre-doctoral students in the cardiovascular field. The IVB Program combines the breadth and depth of the cardiovascular research faculty with other research strengths at UNC in genetic model systems, state-of-the-art cell biology and imaging, high throughput genomic and proteomic analyses, and computational biology. The overall goal of the IVB Program is to provide Trainees with the interdisciplinary and collaborative skills necessary to extend their thesis work into new, innovative, and productive directions.
Specific Aim 1 is to connect Trainees in broad areas of cardiovascular research by requiring them to collaborate with secondary mentors outside of their field. This training mechanism was specifically designed to ?connect? graduate students in broad areas of cardiovascular biology and cardiovascular health research. The program teaches students to apply molecular, cellular, genetic, and computational approaches to pathological and physiological questions in cell, organ, and whole animal systems; to merge hypothesis- and discovery-based research; and to develop high-throughput approaches for use in complex models.
Specific Aim 2 is to provide Trainees with a broad understanding of cardiovascular development and disease. This will be achieved through advanced paper-based cardiovascular courses, cardiovascular seminars by leaders in the field, and through bi-weekly student-led discussion groups.
Specific Aim 3 is to enhance the skills necessary for effective collaboration and career advancement. Trainees will improve their communication skills by presenting their work at formal and informal IVB events and students will attend IVB Workshops on grant writing, career development, and scientific rigor and responsibility. The IVB Program is administered by UNC McAllister Heart Institute and is directed by Dr. Christopher Mack (Associate Professor of Pathology) a respected vascular biologist who has been heavily involved in graduate student training at multiple levels.. He is assisted by Co-directors Nobuyo Maeda (Professor of Pathology) and Vicki Bautch (Professor of Biology) and by the advice of executive and advisory committeees made up of well- established senior vascular biologist. A major strength of the Program is the breadth and diversity of the 39 primary training faculty who are committed to graduate student training and who are using cutting edge approaches to answer a wide variety of cardiovascular questions. In summary, with an outstanding history in cardiovascular biology research, a strong group of investigators centered around the MHI, a well-developed academic program in Cardiovascular Science, a large pool of well-qualified applicants, and research excellence in genetic model systems, cell biology, and computational biology, the UNC Integrative Vascular Biology Program offers an outstanding environment for multidisciplinary training of pre-doctoral students.
Because the complexity of cardiovascular disease has hindered our understanding of its deveopment and progression, the next generation of scientists will need to be trained to use a variety of approaches, technologies and model systems. By combining our large group of highly accomplished cardiovascular faculty with other research and technological strengths at UNC, we created the Integrative Vascular Biology (IVB) Predoctoral Training Program in 2002. The overall goal of the IVB Program is to provide Trainees with the interdisciplinary and collaborative skills necessary to extend their thesis work into new, innovative, and productively directions. To reach this goal we have developed an academic program that exposes our Trainees to the most recent advances in the field and a research training program that requires Trainees to collaborate with secondary mentors outside of their discipline and area of interest. Thus, by teaching our students to think about their experiments from different angles and to apply many approaches and technologies to their questions the IVB program has been very successful at producing young investigators with promising careers in research.
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