Translational research represents a major initiative for advancing knowledge of all forms of psychopathology. This work includes translating the neural mechanisms that underlie normal and abnormal behavior in animals into clinical studies of the causes and treatment of mental disorders. However, segregation of doctoral training in Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology, with separate course requirements, lab experiences, and exposure to outside speakers, impedes new scientists'preparation to undertake translational approaches in their own research. The broad, long-term objectives of the proposed Integrated Clinical Neuroscience (ICN) Training Program are to train the next generation of researchers to become leaders in translational research who will make key contributions across several areas of psychopathology characterized by dysregulated ("disinhibited") behaviors including eating disorders, suicidality, psychopathy, and externalizing spectrum disorders. These problems are associated with significant psychological and medical morbidity, elevated mortality, and high economic burden, underscoring the need for translational approaches. The ICN Training Program will provide integrated instruction and supervision to 4 predoctoral trainees earning Ph.D.s in Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience at Florida State University through several components: 1) cross-area courses, 2) cross-area lab rotations to conduct collaborative, cross-area dissertation research, 3) a Special Speaker Series in which national scholars conducting translational work will present their research to trainees, and trainees will present their ongoing research to invited speakers, ICN training faculty, the Department, and community, 4) presentation of research at conferences and in published papers, as well as 5) instruction in grant writing and additional (cross-area) instruction in the responsible conduct of research. Predoctoral trainees will apply for the ICN Training Program by describing research they plan to conduct in collaboration with their primary advisor and cross-area mentor, classes they will complete, and how the ICN Training Program will contribute to their career development as translational scientists. ICN training faculty come from the Clinical and Neuroscience programs based on cross-area connections in research addressing dysregulated behaviors. Trainees will be appointed at the beginning of their third or fourth year to ensure selection of the most promising trainees who have completed basic program requirements and have established research in their primary advisor's lab that they can extend through work in a cross-area lab rotation. The duration of support will be 2 years. This timing and duration optimize benefit of training grant support for completion of dissertation research. Training facult have strong track records of NIH funding and in training students for productive research careers. The proposed training grant will build upon this success by ensuring that new Ph.D. students are ideally positioned to initiate cutting-edge translational research as they develop independent programs of research to address mental disorders characterized by dysregulated behaviors.
Mental problems characterized by dysregulated behaviors such as eating disorders, suicidality, psychopathy, and related disorders contribute to emotional and physical suffering and are associated with high healthcare costs and increased risk of death to the self (eating disorders and suicidality) and others (psychopathy and related disorders). The proposed training program will train the next generation of researchers to pursue translational research to address these disorders and reduce disorder-related suffering, economic burden, and mortality.
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