This is a renewal NRSA application (T32 HL69769) requesting continued support to maintain an effective and productive Transfusion Medicine Research Training Fellowship at Emory University. Research in transfusion medicine is vital to the future of the field and, downstream, to the safety of recipients of transfusion and cellular therapies worldwide. The Emory Center for Transfusion and Cellular Therapies (CTCT) is one of the largest, most comprehensive academic transfusion medicine programs in the nation and is dedicated to excellence in clinical service, outstanding basic, translational and clinical research and the clinical and research-based training of future leaders in the field. The T32 Post-Doctoral Scientist Training Program is a critical element in both contributing to, and fulfilling the missio of, the Emory CTCT. If funded, this grant would continue to provide salary support for one new post-doctoral CTCT Research Trainee per year for a 5-year period to participate in a 2-year, highly structured, mentored training program in transfusion medicine research.
We aim to fill the acknowledged need for basic, translational, and interdisciplinary research training in transfusion medicine. Such training is needed to develop future specialists in transfusion, cell therapy and transplantation research in order to contribute to the further growth and research development of the specialty and its ability to contribute to other fields of research and clinical practice. Program strengths previously identified include: the Principal Investigator/Program Director;the organization of the training plan as a small-scale program emphasizing high-quality candidates and research projects;the involvement of senior faculty with strong scientific, funding, and training records;the provision of specific mechanisms for educating fellows and externally evaluating the training program;and the academic successes of previously-supported Fellows. To further underscore the program's commitment to providing direct personal effort in training post-doctoral research fellows, the faculty mentors have been limited to only those with significant funding and proven track records in training early-career investigators. The Program was initially funded in 2004 and renewed in 2009. We are now applying for a second renewal to commence in 2014. To date, 7 Fellows have completed the program, 3 Fellows are in the middle of training, and 1 Fellow is designated to start. Our T32 Fellows have been highly successful as evidenced by manuscript publications, faculty appointments, grant support, and Steering Committee review. The Program Director greatly appreciates the funding that has been provided to support this important training effort, and the time and effort volunteered by the reviewers in evaluating this Fellowship.
Transfusion medicine represents an important specialty that provides blood components and cell therapies for clinical use. Future improvements and developments in this field will lead to safer and more effective therapies. This training program will produce many of the future leaders who will spearhead these advances in transfusion and related therapies.
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