The National Research Council has documented a dire national need for veterinary specialists trained in biomedical research. Furthermore, veterinary researchers play a key role in comparative and translational research activities since they naturally bridge basic and clinical research. To address this training need, faculty in the Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research (CCMTR) at the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University established the Comparative Medicine and Translational Research Training Program (CMTRTP). This training program specifically targets individuals with the DVM degree who have completed specialty training. Trainees complete requirements leading to the PhD degree in laboratories of well-funded faculty that have a strong track training record and diverse research expertise. Research projects emphasize comparative and translational themes fostered by the CCMTR and trainees participate in multidisciplinary research efforts. Trainees bridge research programs and serve as a nidus for new faculty collaborations. The training program was initiated in Fall 2007 with funds for 2 slots committed by North Carolina State University. Funding from an NIH T32 in 2008 enabled the program to grow to a total of 8 training slots. To date, we have recruited 12 outstanding trainees who by all accounts, are talented clinician scientists when the complete the program. For this renewal application, six trainee slots are requested in Year 1 of the next grant period to restore the NIH funded slots to the original level and 2 will be supported from NC State resources. We propose to grow the program to a total of 9 training slots by adding 1 additional NIH slot in Year 2. Program requirements include: (1) a capstone course on comparative medicine and translational research;(2) a professional development courses and workshops;(3) a seminar series on translational research;(4) a course in research ethics;(5) a pilot grant program that will culminate in submission of a K award proposal;and (6) an annual research symposium. These requirements are in addition to those associated with a student's graduate program. This novel training program will build upon the strong commitment and track record of the NC State CVM to train veterinary specialists in research.
This training program in Comparative Medicine and Translational Research (CMTR) addresses two critical national needs in biomedical research. First is the growing need for Veterinarians with training in biomedical research. Second is that more emphasis needs to be placed on translation of basic research advances to the clinical setting and this often requires a multidisciplinary approach.
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