This is an application for competitive renewal of an institutional training grant. The intent of this training program is to prepare clinically-trained MD's, MD/PhD's, and PhD's for a career in preclinical, clinical and translational research in mood, eating, or anxiety disorders. Physicians are eligible if they have completed the PGY 3 year of psychiatry training or PGY 4 year of neurology;psychologists if they have completed a clinical internship. The program is centered on three disease entities: mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders, reflecting the ongoing and long-standing research interests of the core faculty involved in the program. Fellows work with a mentor who is a member of the Stanford University faculty for a period of two years on projects related to the phenomenology, clinical biology (including brain imaging), basic neuroscience (including optigentics), treatment, and outcome in the three major classes of disorders. The Program includes formal seminars in research methodology, and clinical research design. All fellows are required to take a course focused on ethics in medical research. Trainees also have access to a wide array of more specialized course work. All Fellows are expected to design and conduct their own research projects. Assistance is given in preparing trainees to apply for their own funding to support their research post fellowship. Program oversight and continual review of both the program and the trainees progress is provided by an Executive Committee representing the principal areas of research and the training sites. In addition, the program has summer stipends for predoctoral fellow/medical students invested in psychiatry. The Program is now in its 19th year. Thirty-six trainees have been entered into the program in the past 10 years (6 MD/PhD's, 11 MD's and 16PhD's), including 5 Fellows (1 MD/PhD, 1 MD and 3 PhD's) who are currently in the program. Thus, the program has been successful in recruiting MD's, MD/PhD's, and PhD's, in filling the funded positions available, and in retaining fellows accepted to the program. Fellows have been successful in obtaining faculty positions around the US and Canada, Career Development Awards, R01's;NARSAD Young Investigator Awards, etc. Four post-doctoral fellows who left before completing the full 2 years: three obtained K-awards or other funding with faculty position and one obtained a full-time clinical academic position. The program has had 20 pre-doctoral medical students as well.
Training of clinically trained mental health researchers is particularly important in order to advance our understanding and treatment of mood, eating, and anxiety disorders, that are all extremely common and are often associated with great morbidity. Interdisciplinary research can help advance our understanding of these disorders and aid in prevention and treatment. Developing basic, clinical, and translational research skills is vital to achieve this goal.
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