The present application seeks continued funding for a training program at Washington University Medical School that has been jointly administered by the Departments of Neurology and Neurological Surgery for the past 29 years. The theme of the research carried out by the trainees and faculty of this grant is translational research in nervous system injury and degeneration. The primary applicant pool for the four slots requested are MD or MD/PhD residents in adult neurology, pediatric neurology, and neurosurgery at this institution. A limited number of Ph.D. candidates carrying out research consistent with the theme in the laboratories of the faculty members will also be considered, as will residents from other neuroscience-related clinical departments or residents from other institutions that seek training with our faculty. The faculty of 45 is composed of well-funded members of several clinical and basic science departments, most of whom have extensive experience in training young scientists and physician scientists. It is expected that trainees supported by this grant will carr out laboratory-based and/or clinically-based translational research for a minimum of two years as this is the minimum period necessary to develop the scientifically-trained neurological or neurosurgical clinician scientists needed to advance our understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of these neurological disorders. In addition to the mentored research projects, trainees will participate, depending upon interests and experience, in individually designed didactic (courses, workshops, journal clubs) programs to develop needed background, specialized technical skills, and communication skills in preparation for an independent research career. All trainees will also receive training in the ethical conduct of research appropriate for whether they are primary focused on clinical vs. laboratory-based research. Procedures are described to select, evaluate, and counsel trainees. We have enjoyed reasonable success in identifying excellent minority participants in the program and efforts to further strengthen this aspect of our program are described. This program has, and will continue to, build upon the long tradition of excellent basic and clinical neuroscience at Washington University toward the objective of training the next generation of clinician scientists dedicated to understanding and treating disorders of the nervous system.
Project narrative: The purpose of this T32 training grant is to provide basic laboratory and clinical research training to neurologists, neurosurgeons, and neuropathologists who are completing their clinical training. The research training should allow them to ultimately perform research with a goal of better understanding and developing treatments for diseases and disorders of the nervous system.
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