This application requests funding for a highly interdisciplinary, translational postdoctoral training program focused on inflammation and infection in the development and progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Inflammation and infection are receiving increasing attention in the pathophysiology of CVD, yet few groups have assembled that combine expertise in the diverse aspects of inflammation and infection focused on CVD. This innovative program is housed in the Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center (BBC) at the Medical College of Wisconsin because of its central focus on translation of basic science discoveries and technological innovations to disease and clinical medicine. We have formed a unique group of highly qualified academic, industrial, and clinical partners dedicated to outstanding mentoring of postdoctoral trainees in teams. This focused (1 M.D. and 2 Ph.D.) program of 2-3 years duration per trainee will be part of the ongoing fellowship program in the BBC. Our training team members are unified in their belief that contemporary fellowship programs must not only give young scientists an outstanding experience at the bench, but must also provide intensive exposure to a variety of technologies and approaches. Most importantly, young scientists need mentoring that extends beyond the traditional postdoc-mentor relationship. Our diverse colleague network includes not only senior mentors and technical experts (academic consultants), but also junior faculty and peers. This network will provide the most important building blocks for optimal professional development, encompassing an appropriate balance between challenges and support, constructive feedback, overall guidance, providing confidence and emotional support, and building friendships. The training combines an individualized mentoring program via mentoring teams with an individual development plan for each trainee. Mentors include outstanding basic scientists from traditional and non-traditional areas, clinical scientists focused on infection and inflammation in CVD, and representatives from industry to advise our fellows on technology transfer, non-academic career options, and to provide an outside viewpoint on their research. Fellows will be recruited nationally and selected on the basis of academic credentials, research experience, and a commitment to a career in research and training. Training will combine traditional laboratory-based inquiry, short courses, seminars and clinical correlations. Concepts of science management, industrial research and development, technology transfer, patents, and ethics will be explored. Trainees will initially rotate through labs in the BBC to become familiar with capabilities of Genomic and Proteomic technology platforms.
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