A decline in the number of physician scientists in the United States, correlates with the NIH Roadmap's concern about the lack of well-trained individuals with the capacity to translate research from bench to bedside. Cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States and the growth of the aged population over the next 20 years will dramatically increase the incidence of peripheral vascular disease and the need for new and improved treatment options for these diseases. Thus, great need exists for formal training programs to prepare future scientists, engineers, and clinicians who can advance the science behind therapies for vascular patients. This application proposes a multidisciplinary and collaborative training program that will co-train young physicians and scientists with interests in vascular biology. The overall goal of the proposed Vascular Surgery Research Training Program is to provide a comprehensive and hypothesis-based research experience to future investigators who are strongly motivated towards a career in vascular surgery and vascular research. The program will provide trainees with multiple opportunities for research activities in broad areas of vascular biology, drug development/delivery, vascular imaging and health services. The program will also foster the development of knowledge, competence, skills, professional attitudes, and experience required for successful academic careers in independent NIH-funded research. The specific objectives of this program are to: 1) through a two-year postdoctoral research training experience for selected surgical residents or medical residents/fellows, provide training in the conduct of basic, translational, health services research through participation in an individual and tailored didacti and mentoring program utilizing the extensive resources of the UW Department of Surgery, UW Cardiovascular Research Center, UW College of Engineering and UW School of Medicine and Public Health, including the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), 2) encourage recent doctoral graduates with a background in molecular biology, cell biology, physiology, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, or other disciplines to pursue academic research careers in the field of vascular biology by providing two to three year postdoctoral training, 3) develop physician-scientists and leaders in academic surgery with an emphasis on vascular diseases and 4) expand the pool of surgeon-scientists with comprehensive training in health services research. The application includes a pool of experienced, extramurally funded trainers from a variety of vascular- related disciplines including surgery, radiology, population health, and biomedical engineering; and incorporates effective assessment processes, a plan to promote diversity by recruiting and retaining both women and minorities, and a comprehensive plan for training in the responsible conduct of research. The program directors have demonstrated success in a similar program at their previous institution and the University of Wisconsin offers an excellent environment for the continued success of the program.
A decline in the number of physician scientists will impact our Nation's capacity to translate research from bench to bedside while vascular diseases becoming increasingly prominent. This formal training program will prepare future scientists, engineers, and clinicians to lead successful academic careers and research that will lead to new and improved therapies for vascular patients.
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