This revised application from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) requests support to establish a Mentored Clinical Scientists Development Program in Drug Abuse and Addiction (K12) at MUSC. The overall objective of the proposed program is to establish an intensive program of mentored clinical research training and career development activities that will promote Scholars'research independence in the area of drug abuse and addiction. In keeping with the mission of NIDA, a major aim of the proposed program is to attract and train clinical researchers to ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists will be available to address the Nation's critical health care needs in te area of addictions. The proposed program, described in detail in the Program Plan section, consists of a unified core curriculum designed to address the following six objectives: (1) Increase addiction knowledge base;(2) Provide fundamental clinical research skills;(3) Enhance statistical skills;(4) Enhance research presentation skills;(5) Improve scientific writin skills;and (6) Provide professional development opportunities. A comprehensive evaluation utilizing formative and summative techniques, as well as recurrent formal and informal approaches for reviewing and evaluating both Scholar progress and program effectiveness will be conducted. Research training and career development opportunities in drug abuse and addictions are exceptionally strong at MUSC, as evidenced by ongoing, NIH-sponsored investigations targeting cocaine, prescription opioids, cannabis, methamphetamine, nicotine, and alcohol addiction. Investigations include studies of the biological mechanisms of addiction, behavioral laboratory studies, psychotherapeutic interventions, pharmacologic clinical trials, and neuroimaging studies. The substantial expertise in the area of clinical drug abuse and addiction research assures our ability to attract, train and prepare Scholars for independent research. The establishment of the NIDA K12 program at MUSC would meet an urgent need to extend the addictions research training potential to faculty-level trainees and allow us to work synergistically with existing pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training programs on campus to attract and promote career development in clinical research focused on addictions throughout the educational continuum.
The participation of clinician-scientists in the biomedical research enterprise helps bridge the gap between basic science and clinical practice. Intensive, mentored clinical training focused on drug abuse and addiction will help ensure that there is a diverse pool of highly trained clinician-scientists available to address the Nation's critical healh care needs.
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