This is a new T32 application requesting funding for a Neurobiology of CNS Injury and Repair Training Program for 4 predoctoral fellows/year. The training of the predoctoral fellows will be carried out by training faculty in the University of Kentucky Spinal Cord &Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC). The overall goal of the proposed program is to provide broad-based training in modern research concepts regarding the acute, subacute and chronic pathophysiology of SCI and TBI and the identification of potential disease-modifying molecular targets that can drive the discovery of pharmacological and gene therapeutic strategies by which the devastating effects of these injuries can be ameliorated. These strategies will include both "neuroprotective" and "neurorestorative" approaches. Although it is anticipated that most of the trainees will pursue careers in laboratory-based therapeutic discovery research, they will also receive training in clinical aspects of the targeted neurological disorders and the practical issues involved in the design and conduct of neurological clinical trials. To accomplish this, the predoctoral fellows wil also spend one day/week for a semester shadowing neurological, neurosurgical and/or neurorehabilitation clinical faculty, and attending weekly grand rounds to gain an understanding of the clinical nature of TBI and SCI that their research is focused upon. This will enhance their future ability as independent investigators to not only make therapeutic discoveries in experimental injury models, but also provide them with knowledge concerning how to design their basic research in a manner that will more readily enable the translation of promising therapeutic approaches into clinical studies and therapeutic trials.
This project will involve the development of a new training program to prepare 4 predoctoral fellows/year for neurological research careers directed at the discovery and translation of novel neuroprotective and neurorestorative therapies for the treatment of traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries. The training will be directed by basic science and clinical faculty of the University of Kentucky Spina Cord &Brain Injury Research Center.
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