This application is a resubmission of the first renewal for a training grant entitled "Vascular Surgery Scientist Training Program" (VSSTP). The training program was established in 2008 to increase the number of trainees interested in vascular surgical problems. In the first funding cycle, the training program has been successful in recruiting trainees and has established a successful track record in publications, awards, and funding. The program consists of 23 mentors from 15 departments or divisions. The training program originally accepted two trainees per year for a two year mentored training program (four slots per year). We are requesting an increase of one trainee per year, for a total of three per year (six slots), in response to the increasing demand for trainees interested in vascular surgical diseases, our capacity to handle additional trainees, and our successful track record to date. Peripheral vascular disease is an under-diagnosed, under-treated, and under-studied disease that is separate and distinct from coronary artery disease. The biology, interventions, and outcomes are different from the coronary circulation. This grant has been arranged around three thematic areas. The areas consist of basic science investigations of the biology of the peripheral vascular system, biomedical research into developing new devices to treat the disease, and the study of clinical outcomes and health services research with respect to vascular surgery and the delivery of care to our patients. From these areas, trainees may select a single area or develop an integrated program to meet their needs and interests. The program centers on a mentored research experience in which the trainee and the mentor assess the needs of the trainee and develop an independent learning plan and a contract around these needs and desires. Since the last funding cycle, the training program has evolved, with changes in the faculty, new collaborations with the American College of Surgeons for outcomes and health services research specific to surgery, enhanced biomedical and engineering pathways by collaborating with the newly created biodesign course, and better leveraging the resources of the NUCATS training program. In this renewal proposal, we have expanded the program to include PhD trainees. This expansion resulted from the request of trainees and the Internal Review and External Advisory committees. All three groups found that having surgical trainees training beside post-doctorates was beneficial and added to the experience. Similar experience from our own institution and others has suggested that the PhD trainees experience a similar benefit in working with MDs.
TO PUBLIC HEALTH Peripheral vascular disease (PVD)-including abdominal aortic aneurysms, stroke, and claudication- is an under-diagnosed, under-treated, and under-studied manifestation of systemic atherosclerosis affecting millions of Americans. The obesity epidemic and the aging population will increase the number of patients suffering from PVD and the demand for better and less expensive treatments. The goal of this grant is to increase the number of basic and clinical researchers interested in PVD to meet this demand.
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