This renewal application requests support for six trainees for Postdoctoral Training in Fundamental and Translational Neuroscience. The close integration of fundamental, translational and clinical training is enhanced at Duke by having its ten schools (including medicine, engineering, and arts and sciences) and its main hospital on a single contiguous campus. Translational training has long been a hallmark of Duke's research community which was awarded one of the first NIH Clinical Translational Science Awards. The program has 32 participating faculty from 12 departments including 5 clinical departments. All participating faculty are funded, with average funding being $575,000 per year. All except two assistant professors hold R01s and ten hold M.D. or M.D. / Ph.D. degrees. Five are practicing clinicians. The environment for neuroscience research was bolstered last year by the creation of a new interdisciplinary institute, the Duke Institute for Brain Science (DIBS). To enhance postdoctoral training, DIBS will provide two additional postdoctoral stipends each year from institutional funds to supplement those requested here. Postdoctoral fellows, regardless of their source of support, will be vetted and trained equivalently. Training grant support will be for one year while trainees develop research programs that will enable them to compete for independent extramural funding.
The program seeks to accomplish the mission of NINDS- "to reduce the burden of neurological disease" by training the next generation of neuroscientists. Specifically, this program integrates translational and basic science training to further the overall goal of NIH- to promote translational medicine and bring new discoveries and technologies closer to implementation in the real world. Advances in neuroscience rests on young scientists trained to understand and contribute to the field.
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