This renewal application from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) requests support for the continuation of the NIDA Mentored Clinical Scientists Development Program in Drug Abuse and Addiction (NIDA K12) at MUSC. Established in 2012, the overall objective of the NIDA K12 program was to establish an intensive program of mentored clinical research training and career development activities to promote Scholars' research independence in the area of drug abuse and addiction. The substantial expertise in addictions research at MUSC ensures our ability to mentor individuals in early stages of their research careers to contribute significantly to the understanding and treatment of substance use disorders. In the initial funding period, infrastructure of a strong mentorship development program was established, and participating Scholars have had significant success in obtaining independent federal funding. This application requests support to build on these early programmatic successes by making innovative changes to strengthen the K12 program. Specifically, we will focus on providing novel training opportunities and hands-on experience to promote addiction team science among our K12 Scholars, as well as increase opportunities for training in areas such as mHealth, biomedical imaging, public health, and biomedical informatics. Additionally, in keeping with the mission of NIDA, emphasis during the renewal funding period will continue to be placed on attracting and training 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 the area of drug abuse. The renewal of the NIDA K12 program would allow us to continue to meet the urgent need to extend the addictions research training potential to faculty-level trainees at MUSC, and to continue our synergistic work with existing programs on campus to attract and promote faculty 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 helps ensure that there is a diverse pool of highly trained clinician-scientists available to address the Nation's critical health care needs.
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