The goal of this training program is to introduce medical students to the concept of scientific research, the principles of scientific experimentation, the proper methods of data analysis, and the interpretation, presentation, and application of research results. This goal will be accomplished by the student working in the laboratory of a highly skilled investigator who has a proven track record in the mentoring of students in the research process and who has an actively funded, peer-reviewed, biomedical research program focusing on cardiovascular, pulmonary or sleep medicine. In addition, all students participate in a series of Career Skills Workshops. As part of these workshops, students explore career possibilities by meeting with current translational researchers, as well as UAB SOM leadership. Other sessions focus on how to do a traditional 10- minute presentation of your research project, how to maintain a laboratory notebook, how to read a scientific paper, rigor and reproducibility in research, and how to prepare and present a scientific poster. The trainees also participate in an oral presentation or poster session (Medical Student Research Day) in which their work is shared and evaluated by faculty and their peers. The top students are selected to attend a national meeting to present their work. The ultimate goal of the program is to provide trainees with an understanding and appreciation of the biomedical research process so as to enhance their practice of medicine and to encourage some members of this select group of students to pursue careers in academic medicine. During the past five years of grant funding, the program has provided meaningful research experiences for 142 medical students, plus 83 additional students funded through other mechanisms. During these years, 7% and 30% of trainees who were appointed to the T35 were underrepresented minorities and women, respectively. These numbers reflect well the percent of matriculated students (8.5%, and 45%) in the School of Medicine in 2011 ? 2016. Trainees during the current grant period (summers of 2013 ? 2016) have published 36 peer-reviewed scientific papers as a result of their research experience (9 as first author). In the past 15 years of grant funding (years 21-34 of the program), trainees have published 150 peer-reviewed original research articles. Thus over 28% of all trainees from years 21-34 have been involved in published manuscripts stemming directly from their training experience. Based upon the successful tracking of the majority of trainees who participated in the program in years 5-25, we have been able to determine that 23.2% of the medical student trainees are now in faculty positions at academic medical centers. Those who submitted comments all viewed their research fellowship as a positive experience and even those who chose a career in private practice view the research as a valuable component of their training. In summary, the data indicate that this Short Term Research Training Program has been successful at achieving its goals. Thus, in the present application, we are requesting funding to continue this training program for another five years.

Public Health Relevance

Short Term Training in Health Professional Schools The objective of the proposed training program is to expose medical students to biomedical research and the principles of scientific experimentation. There is a clear need for training additional physician scientists with expertise in understanding the causes of disease and the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood disorders. This training program seeks to inspire more medical and students to pursue research careers and join the ranks of clinical investigators addressing human health issues.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
NRSA Short -Term Research Training (T35)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1)
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Meadows, Tawanna
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University of Alabama Birmingham
Schools of Medicine
United States
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