This training program offers pre-doctoral trainees a breadth of exposure and a depth of expertise to acquire the essential aptitudes and tools to thrive in an aggressive cardiovascular research environment. Our specific goals are to:(a) provide rigorous state-of-the-art education in basic sciences of the cardiovascular system;(b) provide training in ethical conduct of research;(c) facilitate translational science by providing our trainees with the requisite tools and experience to compete in this arena;and (d) create future "citizens of science" by fostering an environment that promotes advocacy of research with highest ethical standards. We propose to train 5 pre-doctoral fellows and 4 Summer Minority Scholars. Our training faculty, composed of 30 scientists, are all extramurally funded with laboratories well suited to train young scientists, and with excellent training records. The highly collaborative training faculty will implement a structured program covering the areas of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure, arrhythmogenesis, central nervous control of cardiovascular function and vascular biology with a focus on mechanisms of atherosclerosis, abdominal aortic aneurysms, and thrombosis. This breadth of cardiovascular research opportunities for fellows is supported and enhanced by strong links to the Cardiovascular Research Center and the Gill Heart Institute. A multidisciplinary training faculty represent the combined resources of 11 academic departments in 3 Colleges and 3 Centers, providing both faculty and students a rich environment within which to work and interact, and opportunities for translational research. The curriculum exposes students to essential knowledge ranging from molecules to the integrated physiology of the whole organism with numerous opportunities for in-depth study of focused areas of cardiovascular function. An important feature of our program is the development of new vehicles to train fellows in techniques of translational research. Moreover, our successful minority recruitment program will continue to promote diversity within our training program. Finally, the University of Kentucky strategic plan targets the cardiovascular sciences for focused development, optimizing the environment for the training of superbly-equipped young scientists.
The ultimate basis for this training program is the continuing dearth of well-trained investigators in the cardiovascular sciences relative to the needs of American society for improved cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and treatment. Research by well-trained scientists and clinicians, such as we will train, shows continued promise for improvement of the cardiovascular health of Americans.
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