Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) has a strong commitment to train medical students to become academic leaders in medicine. WUSM is an internationally recognized clinical and research institution with talented medical students and world-renowned faculty. The broad scope of the research activities at WUSM provide stimulating and challenging research opportunities for all interested medical students. During the past 15 years, the WUSM student participation in Summer Research Program (SRP) has grown from the original 26 NHLBI T35 funded slots to currently 91 in total. This represents 90% participation of all WUSM students. The additional WUSM students are funded by additional training grants and Dean's fellowships. The success of the NHLBI T35 funding at the inception of the SRP has attracted additional funding which has allowed the SRP to grow to its almost maximum extent. Currently therefore the NHLBI T35 funds fewer than 30% of the SRP WUSM students. We believe that the success of the SRP warrants our request for an increase in NHLBI T35 support from 26 to 30 WUSM students each summer. The NHLBI T35 is currently two months in duration. To allow medical students sufficient time to collect enough data to analyze, we propose to extend the period of the NHLBI T35 to 2.5 months between the end of the first year classes and the beginning of the second year classes. For the past 10 years, Dr. Koong-Nah Chung has been the PI of this NHLBI T35 and the Director of the SRP. As a PhD scientist trained at WUSM, UC Berkeley and NIH, and as the Director of the Office of Medical Student Research and the Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, Dr. Chung has been and continues to be in an ideal position to administer this NHLBI T35. For the past 10 years, Dr. Chung has been instrumental in bringing together the faculty and WUSM students for rewarding summer research experiences. Dr. Chung has also been instrumental in increasing the number of medical students who participate in the SRP and in the Advanced Research Programs at WUSM.
The goals of the proposed NHLBI T35 training grant (NHLBI T35) are to (1) develop the research interests of W2 students in the summer research program, (2) provide personal interactions between W2 students and faculty mentors, and (3) encourage medical students to pursue Advanced Research. Continued support for this NHLBI T35 training grant is extremely important, because the SRP addresses national needs for: (1) Training academic physicians for research on the fundamental biological basis of human diseases and research in clinical sciences, and (2) Providing background and experience for practicing physicians to evaluate emerging medical technology.
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