As a nation, we are facing a growing epidemic of chronic respiratory diseases that have their origins in childhood. Yet, there is a severe shortage of pediatric pulmonologists with the expertise to investigate the basic pathogenesis of respiratory diseases or to develop or critically evaluate new therapies. Out of over 220 NHLBI-funded T32 research training programs, there are only 3 NIH-funded T32 programs dedicated to the research training of pediatric pulmonary physician-scientists. The Duke Multidisciplinary Training Program in Pediatric Lung Disease is designed to develop pediatric pulmonary fellows into well-trained physician-scientists who will be future leaders of basic, translational and clinical research. We have two tracks: a basic research track and a clinical research track. Our basic research track is supported by successful investigators whose research focuses on lung cell and molecular biology, genomics, lung injury, inflammation, immunology and repair, lung development and lung stem cell biology that impact on the science that underlies the pathophysiology of diseases of the lung. Fellows have an intensive hands-on experience in the laboratory and take didactic courses that supplement this training. Our clinical research component is strongly supported by the Duke Clinical Research Training Program, with opportunities for fellows to enroll in the Master's Program in Health Sciences and Clinical Research and graduate programs in Biostatistics and Epidemiology. The rich multidisciplinary environment is supported by all the fellows'participating in three monthly seminar series. The Program leadership are supported by an Internal Advisory Board made up of Duke University Medical Center Faculty who are T32 Principal Investigators. They assess the trainees'progress and the preceptor's mentoring. Recruitment of trainees from underrepresented minorities is a program focus. An External Advisory Board, made up of internationally recognized successful investigators, who are currently or have been on oversight committees for NHLBI-funded T32 research training programs, reviews the program, advises as to the overall program direction and helps ensure successful transition of the trainees into academic careers. A strong mentored research experience is provided. The preceptors and trainees formally assess each other every six months. Our programs'goal is to develop fellows who will have the experience and capabilities needed for a successful long term research career.
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