The proposed Training Program in Mental Health Research will provide predoctoral and postdoctoral students in the Neurosciences with an integrated training experience in the laboratories of nationally and internationally recognized faculty. The predoctoral training program builds on an exciting, translationally relevant curriculum taught in years one and two of graduate school that has been recently awarded NIH support through the Jointly Sponsored Predoctoral Early Stage T32 Training Program mechanism. The postdoctoral program will draw together complementary pools of clinical and basic science fellows. The proposed new training program would be Mount Sinai's first to support research training for Ph.D. students in the Neurosciences, and would be unique at Mount Sinai in its approach to providing postdoctoral mental health research training to clinical and basic fellows. Outstanding training faculty share a common thematic interest: understanding how the function and plasticity of specific neural circuits impact, and are impacted by, neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disease. Varied laboratory opportunities at Mount Sinai School of Medicine take advantage of particular strengths in translational neuroscience, notably in developmental neurobiology, mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disease, cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging, signal transduction, and synaptic and behavioral plasticity. At Mount Sinai, the nervous system is studied in diverse model systems, from 'simple'invertebrates such as the sea snail Aplysia, the fruit fly, or the worm C. elegans, all the way to complex vertebrates including nonhuman primates and humans. Through their course work, predoctoral trainees will have received a solid foundation in basic neurobiology and the pathophysiology of neurological and psychiatric disease. Postdoctoral trainees will be admitted from residency or fellowship programs (e.g. Psychiatry), or following completion of Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. programs, and they will be offered a tailored didactic and research experience. Selection of a research mentor is made in a collaborative environment that actively promotes multidisciplinary, integrative research. The training program encourages participation of faculty mentors whose research grants directly focus on mental health research, while not excluding those whose research is critically important for the interdisciplinary training we seek to impart. Research training will also have a didactic 'work in progress'component, to foster these important interdisciplinary interactions, hone presentation skills, and improve awareness of ethical issues. Using this approach, the Training Program in Mental Health Research will provide predoctoral and postdoctoral students with the guidance and experimental tools, in the laboratories of our training faculty, to launch successful, productive, independent careers in mental health research.
We describe a training program that seeks to identify a group of highly talented predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows to become the next generation of mental health researchers who will provide significant advances in the understanding and treatment of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disease. Clinical and basic postdoctoral fellows and predoctoral students are offered a flexible, interdisciplinary program of coursework, coupled with bench and/or translational mental health research, to achieve these important goals that will contribute to improved public health.
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