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 multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research activitis since they naturally bridge basic and clinical research. To address this training need, faculty in the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) established the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Training Program (IBRTP) for veterinary students in 2009. The objective of this training program is to provide interdisciplinary biomedical research experience specifically targeted to veterinary students with a strong interest in a research career. The training program also serves as a bridge to foster new interdisciplinary research collaborations amongst faculty members. Trainees complete a 3-month research experience in the laboratories of faculty members drawn from nine different disciplines. Trainees are mentored by two faculty members from different disciplines to create and execute an interdisciplinary project. The 29 faculty members participating in this program are well funded and have a strong training track record. The nine disciplines selected are areas of strength at NC State; Clinical Sciences, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Engineering, Food Safety, Statistics, Pharmacology, Regenerative Medicine, and Toxicology. Research projects emphasize the melding of two disciplines to create a novel approach to a biomedical research problem. Projects combining clinical and basic science disciplines are given priority. Trainees will be veterinary students in their first or second year who are building on prior research experience. The training program started in 2009 with funds committed by NC State University CVM. Four trainee slots funded by the NIH were added in 2010. The number of NIH supported trainee slots grew to 7 in 2012. To date, a total of 22 NIH funded trainees have completed the program. We propose in this renewal application that the number of NIH funded training slots be increased to 10 per year. Program requirements include: (1) a weekly seminar series on topics related to research ethics and scientific and professional development; (2) a weekly journal club discussing interdisciplinary research papers; (3) participation in the NIH-Merial National Veterinary Scholars Symposium and the annual CVM research symposium. These requirements are in addition to those associated with a student's research training experience.
This Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research training program (IBRTP) 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 an interdisciplinary approach.
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