This application requests funding for a pre-doctoral (4 slots) and post-doctoral (4 slots) training grant entitled, 'Training in Cardiovascular Translationl Research'. This training grant application is uniquely designed to train future CV scientists who will have expertise in bringing basic discoveries from the laboratory into clinical practice throug development of novel therapeutics. The KEY INNOVATION in the is training program is a longitudinal course over three semesters that covers the major disciplines required for successful therapeutics discovery, validation and development including: 1) basic mechanisms in CV diseases/target identification;2) drugging the target/high throughput screening;3) target validation/proof of concept using relevant animal models of human disease;4) introduction to medicinal chemistry - optimization of compounds/biologicals;5) basic concepts of intellectual property protection;6) fundamentals of medical pharmacology;6) basics in toxicology;7) principals of drug development from pre-clinical to IND filing;8) fundamentals of clinical testing Faculty mentors will direct research training in four primary areas: 1) Structural Biology of CV Signaling Molecules, including solving structures of ion channels and G-protein coupled receptors;2) Biophysics of CV Cell Signaling, including ion channels, cardiac and smooth muscle signaling;3) Animal Models of CV Diseases, including mice models of heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, atherosclerosis, and diabetes;and 4) Clinical-Translational CV Sciences, including integrated use of human stem cells, genetics of cardiovascular diseases, biomaterial scaffolds and bioreactors, clinical electrophysiology, and heart failure. Strong emphasis is given to training scientists with broadly- based, interdisciplinary knowledge and unique skill sets, with a strong fundamental understanding of cardiovascular biology and physiology. The usual duration for support on the training grant is two years, although individuals may be enrolled in the training program for up to five years. Training-grant-supported trainees will be expected and counseled to apply for independent funding to continue their training after two years of grant support. Pre-doctoral candidates are selected from a very large pool of outstanding applicants to 4 graduate programs at Columbia University Medical Center- Cellular Physiology and Biophysics, Integrated Program, Nutritional and Metabolic Biology, Pharmacology and Molecular Signaling. Post-doctoral candidates are likewise selected from a large applicant pool made up of direct applications to program faculty and the training program, as well as respondents to advertisements in scientific journals. Special efforts are undertaken to enhance the recruitment of woman and minorities. The training program and the core departments have well-established cardiovascular seminar series and journal clubs, joint laboratory meetings and retreats that are designed to foster collaborations and interdisciplinary research. In addition, th training program itself sponsors an annual retreat, seminars and work-in-progress sessions to assess trainee progress. The training program has an efficient evaluation and feedback system to ensure appropriate training of our pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows. Throughout the program and afterwards, trainees are advised on research and career development, individually and through a mentoring program headed by an Associate Director for Trainee Development. The program is designed to take advantage of the many existing strengths of Columbia University, including the Irving Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CTSA), Mailman School of Public Health, Genome Center, Bioinformatics, Tissue and Biomedical Engineering and numerous basic science departments and strong clinical programs.
The mission of this program is the successful training of outstanding independent and collaborative cardiovascular research scientists, who will become academic leaders in the fields of translational cardiovascular research.
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