This program proposes to continue training 6 postdoctoral fellows annually in mechanisms and innovation in vascular disease. The program goals include rigorous training in the scientific method, critical analysis, logical reasoning and independent thinking, all within a highly collaborative working group. Trainees develop a focused area of translational vascular research expertise and exposure to a wide range of complementary research techniques. Mentors model collegial and productive collaboration, provide guidance in honing skills in oral and written communication, and instill respect for the responsible conduct of research. Fellows are appointed to this T32 annually, with continual encouragement to seek their own funding for additional years as part of the skills imparted by the program. Twelve trainees have benefited from the program; six are currently in training, including four women and two under-represented minorities. Evaluations from all twelve suggest a high degree of satisfaction with the program. Our overarching goal is to develop investigators knowledgeable regarding the fundamentals of vascular disease, driven to identify innovative solutions, and capable of translating basic research into clinical success. To this end, fellows receive their training in a multidisciplinary milieu of fundamental, translational and clinical research in vascular biology and disease management. The Stanford Cardiovascular Institute (CVI) provides a unique platform by which to train the next generation of basic and translational vascular investigators. Mentors for the proposed program, all members of the CVI, come not only from vascular medicine, but also from materials science, mechanical and electrical engineering, genetics, and health research and policy. Brought together in a collaborative Institute, these scientists share a common interest in the mechanisms behind vascular development and disease.
Vascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Despite significant progress, there remains a compelling need to accelerate application of basic research breakthroughs to the challenges of clinical practice. Stanford University has the faculty, the resources, and the collaborative milieu to address this major public health problem. The application proposes to extend access to our successful post- graduate training program to at least twelve additional deserving candidates, to help them achieve their career goals while improving cardiovascular health for all Americans.
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