The objective of the career development award is to help a junior faculty member develop academic teaching and research expertise in a specific field of interest. Currently, a significant number of Georgetown University faculty members are in the process of enhancing their institution's educational and research capacity in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). As a member of this faculty pool who is considered one of the initiators of the drive towards integration of CAM modalities into the Georgetown University Medical School curriculum, I am already actively involved in realizing the goals of the R-25 educational grant, fulfilling a dual role as both academic teacher and researcher. My first goal is the successful implementation and academic integration of the CAM program. The career development award would greatly facilitate this endeavor by allowing me to increase the professional time dedicated to this cause from 30% as set forth by the R-25 educational grant to 100%. This would help assure the highest academic standards for our medical and graduate students. Secondly, I will be working closely with Dr. Haramati, my mentor and the program's educational director, to develop a curriculum for the envisioned CAM Master's program. This phase is scheduled to be completed by the third year of our R-25 grant, and it will be vital to receive adequate training in curriculum building and academic teaching.
The third aim i s to develop and launch research projects pertaining to CAM, which will constitute a much-needed training platform for our students and bring a strong evidence based perspective to the field. Having worked as a basic scientist in Dr. Papadopoulos' laboratory, I can draw on my expertise to bring together conventional and CAM research, much like I did when defining the mechanism of action of Ginkgo biloba and its role with respect to stress management. These research projects would complement the ongoing CAM research at Georgetown University and should add a new perspective to the process of uniting CAM and basic science. This in turn would allow Georgetown University to offer an improved research environment to the students by affording them additional opportunities in pursuing research-based CAM. The award would therefore (1) play a synergistic role in accomplishing the goals of the R-25 educational grant, (2) help expand my role in academic teaching and research, and (3) parley my current knowledge and abilities to help substantiate and enrich the current spectrum of CAM.
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