This is an application from the UCSF Department of Psychiatry for an Institutional Training Grant (T32). We propose to train recent MDs, PhDs, and MD/PhDs in methods used to study the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the symptoms of schizophrenia and its neuro-developmental and neuro- degenerative course. The symptom-oriented approach avoids issues associated with the heterogeneity of schizophrenia as a diagnosis;the neuroscience approach allows us to get closer to the substrates and mechanisms responsible for the symptom;the illness-course approach allows us to address possible prevention, intervention, and treatment. These approaches reflect the research interests and expertise of the proposed T32 faculty. Research: We have taken full advantage of the members of the Psychiatry Faculty who use neuroscience methods, with both human and non-human species, to understand schizophrenia, in its many manifestations. Each trainee will do a mentor-initiated project in the first year and a self-initiated project in the second, both resulting in papers, posters and platform talks at local, national, and international meetings on biological psychiatry. Education: Trainees will participate in our year-long integrative weekly T32 Seminar Series and our year- long Neuroscience in Psychiatry course;take formal UCSF courses identified by the trainee and mentor;and take yearly courses on the Responsible Conduct of Research. Trainees will meet with their Research Mentors weekly and Career Mentors, monthly. Training: Trainees will be dual-mentored with Research and Career Mentors to guide them both formally and informally, learning neurobiological methods, producing a body of data, presenting data at national meetings, writing and publishing papers, preparing grant proposals, and attending local and national workshops on launching and maintaining successful careers in biological psychiatry. The T32 Faculty includes basic neuroscientists and psychiatrists, working in genetics, brain imaging, electrophysiology, and neuroplasticity. Each member of the T32 Faculty will serve as Research and Career Mentors to different trainees. The T32 will be directed by Dr. Judith Ford and administered by the Executive Committee, comprised of Drs. Ford, Mathalon, Vinogradov, Reus and Barondes. Except during the first year, when there will be only three trainees, there will be 5 trainees at a time.
This institutional training grant, over its 5 year course, will train a new generation of 14 neuroscientists to investigate the neuropathophysiology of schizophrenia. Training these qualified postdoctoral scholars is an important step towards understanding this devastating illness that affects 1% of the world's population and assures a new generation of mental health academic research-clinicians will be available to improve the lives of persons with schizophrenia.
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