The Integrated Clinical Neuroscience (ICN) Training Program, operating in the Psychology Department at Florida State University for the past four years, seeks to train the next generation of investigators to become leaders in translational research who will make major advances across several areas of psychopathology characterized by dysregulated (?disinhibited?) behaviors including eating disorders, suicidality, trauma-related disorders, and aggression. These problems are associated with significant psychological and medical morbidity, elevated mortality, and high economic burden, underscoring the need for research that translates 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 Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience, with separate course requirements, lab experiences, and exposure to outside speakers, impedes new scientists' preparation to undertake translational approaches in their own research. The ICN Training Program was designed to break down these barriers. Here, we seek continued funding to provide integrated instruction, research experience, and mentorship to 4 predoctoral ICN trainees earning Ph.D.s in Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience through several components: 1) cross-area courses, 2) cross-area lab rotations to conduct collaborative, cross-area research, 3) a Special Speaker Series in which trainees present their ongoing research to national scholars conducting translational science, and these scholars present their work to trainees, ICN training faculty, the Department, and community, 4) presentation of research at conferences and in published papers, and 5) instruction in grant writing. Predoctoral trainees 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 are appointed at the beginning of their 2nd through 4th year to ensure selection of the most promising trainees who have completed basic program requirements and have established research interests in their primary advisor's lab that they can extend through work in a cross-area lab rotation. The duration of support is 2 years. Our training model has produced a highly accomplished first cohort of ICN trainees, two of whom are now in prestigious postdoctoral positions. Training faculty continue to excel in securing grant funding and training students for productive research careers with strong publication records. Continuation of the ICN Training Grant for an additional five years will build upon our accomplishments and ensure that a second cohort of Ph.D. students is 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, trauma-related disorders, and aggression 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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