This proposal seeks support for a new T32 in Precision Lifestyle Medicine and Translation Research (PREMIER) training at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The program impact goal is to build a transdisciplinary, translational research training infrastructure for postdoctoral fellows who aspire to be both independent investigators and team scientists in lifestyle medicine. Specifically, the program addresses the prevention and control of cardiovascular and respiratory chronic conditions and comorbidities.
The specific aims are to: (1) Recruit and train a superb and diverse cadre of fellows; (2) Provide an academic ?incubator? for an inspiring mentored research experience and individualized professional development; and (3) Sustain a pipeline of dedicated, skilled mentors at all academic ranks. PREMIER has 3 integrative scientific foci: Behavioral Sciences for Multimorbidity Prevention and Control as the central, patient-oriented research- focused core; and Mechanistic Explorations of Behavior and Behavior Change and the Population Health Equity and Policy cores traversing the central core. Supported by an Internal and External Advisory Committee, the Executive Committee, consisting of the 2 PIs and the 2 co-leaders of each scientific core, will provide intellectual leadership and programmatic oversight. These 8 faculty along with 21 others from 6 science colleges at UIC (Medicine, Public Health, Applied Health Sciences, Pharmacy, Engineering and Nursing) are PREMIER mentors, including 20 established mentors and 9 emerging mentors (who will learn mentorship skills through observation, experience, and training). Collectively, they bring deep research expertise, extensive professional experiences, and essential resources. The program will support 2 postdoctoral positions in year 1, 3 in years 2-3, and 4 in years 4-5, for 2-3 years of funding each, with approximately equal allocation between MDs and PhDs based on application merits. Every fellow will receive group mentorship from 1 primary, established mentor associated with the core of central interest to the fellow and 1-2 secondary mentors from the other cores. One of the mentors must have established expertise in Behavioral Sciences for Multimorbidity Prevention and Control. Fellows will devote at least 75% effort to mentored research, supplemented by conferences, seminars, and coursework (which, when appropriate, may lead to a master's degree, such as a Master of Science in Clinical Translational Science) based on individual needs. Fellows will be selected from a local, regional, and nationwide pool of MDs and PhDs seeking research training at UIC, which qualifies as a minority serving higher education institution. Selection criteria focus on past accomplishments and especially on their potential as future researchers and educators. Each trainee will develop an individual development plan, and progress is to be continuously monitored and formally evaluated. A multi-level program evaluation plan is designed to ensure quality for continued funding.
We seek funding support for training future MD and PhD scientists with transdisciplinary team science expertise in behavioral sciences for multimorbidity prevention and control, mechanistic explorations of behavior and behavior change, and population health equity and policy. These trainees will make discoveries during and after their training that will advance the science and practice of lifestyle behaviors and behavior change for the prevention and control of health conditions involving the heart, lung and/or blood.