This is the first competing renewal application of T32 HL082610-04, "Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine." The aim of this training program is to train the future generation of clinical and basic sleep researchers in a translational approach to sleep medicine. Our philosophy is that research training in sleep medicine is most effective when its content is translational, its faculty multidisciplinary, and its outcomes measurable and competency-based. During our initial 31/2 years, we have learned valuable lessons on running this program and have enjoyed early success, which was commended by our External Advisory Board (EAB). Of our initial 8 postdoctoral fellows, one has received a K award, and four others have or will submit within the next 6 months. In aggregate, they have 39 peer-reviewed manuscripts published, in press, or submitted, and 36 abstracts during/after their training. Our 10 medical students have submitted 6 abstracts and published one first-authored peer-reviewed paper. We have systematically examined our program with evaluations from the trainees, a University Advisory Board (UAB), and EAB. Based on these evaluations, we propose specific modifications in the training program and in our recruitment strategies. The training program includes two components: 1) A 2-3 year postdoctoral training fellowship for MD scientists recruited from pulmonary medicine, psychiatry, neurology, and internal medicine programs and PhD graduates recruited nationally and locally through the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Graduate Program, clinical psychology internships, and the epidemiology graduate program. We propose to maintain the current program size of four fellows for Years 06- 10. 2) Research experiences for medical students, which comprise two pathways: a) a summer research program;b) a longitudinal "scholarly project" running through 4 years of medical school. We propose to enroll 4 medical students each year in the summer program, and 4 students in the longitudinal scholarly project. Postdoctoral and medical student trainees benefit from a diverse, multidisciplinary Training Faculty;from outstanding resources for conducting sleep research at the University of Pittsburgh;and from strong institutional support, including programs within the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Office of Academic Career Development. We use multiple strategies to recruit diverse, multidisciplinary trainees. The postdoctoral training program employs specific, quantifiable training milestones emphasizing mentored research;publications;the development of career development awards;and required and elective didactic coursework including responsible conduct of research. Medical student training likewise emphasizes scientific reasoning and focused, mentored research. Ongoing evaluation is an integral component of the program, and includes UAB and EAB input. Program-specific and institutional efforts are aimed at the recruitment of underrepresented minority trainees and individuals with disabilities.
Sleep is a fundamental health behavior, and sleep disturbances are associated with adverse consequences for physical and mental health. However, our understanding of sleep and sleep disorders is jeopardized by a shortage of well-trained sleep scientists. The aim of this program is to provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary training in sleep medicine research for early-stage MD and PhD scientists and medical students.
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