The purpose of this K12 Career Development Program is to increase the number and effectiveness of pediatric investigators with knowledge and skills in pediatric diabetes research by recruiting promising junior pediatric faculty and training them to be independent physician-scientists. The program is designed to ensure that the most qualified individuals completing subspecialty training can successfully stay in academic medicine. At both the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania (PENN), we have strong, collaborative and interactive clinical and research programs, and a long and successful tradition of developing the career of physician scientists. We have assembled a group of 32 scientific mentors, 20 from CHOP and 12 from PENN, who were chosen using the following criteria: rigorous science and productivity in areas germane to diabetes, a strong reputation for successful mentoring with collaborative research interactions, a consistent record of extramural funding, and proper programmatic balance. To meet the intent of this K12 Competitive Renewal Application, the Program will identify Scholar candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to pursue a career in diabetes research, from inside or outside the CHOP/PENN environment. Working with a mentor(s), Scholars will design a program approved by the Advisory Committee, which includes participation in a core curriculum, didactic coursework in patient-oriented research, and a clinical or translational research project. Scholars have access to a comprehensive array of research core facilities and resources, and an opportunity to exchange ideas with other investigators in both formal and informal settings. During our previous funding period, we trained five clinician investigators that all remain productive in translational diabetes research, and have been promoted (or anticipate promotion within the term of the K12) to the rank of Assistant Professor in Pediatric Endocrinology. Three of these Scholars have completed Master's Degree Programs in either Clinical Epidemiology or Translational Research. All have successfully competed for research funding to augment their career development plans, with three of them having competed successfully for their own individual K grant awards. This competitive renewal K12 application in diabetes research for pediatric endocrinologists seeks to build on the success of our current program, and establish the critical funding mechanism to attract, train, and develop the next generation of outstanding clinical and translational researchers in the field.
Medical research progress in pediatric diabetes has been hampered by a shortage of physicians who are trained to perform patient-oriented and laboratory-based research. This project aims to increase the number and effectiveness of pediatric endocrinologists with rigorous training in basic and translational research, and in turn, speed the transfer of knowledge gained through basic studies to clinical applications that will benefit the health of children. CHOP has consistently produced highly skilled researchers in pediatric diabetes and related conditions. This grant will provide funds with which to identify, train and mentor promising pediatric faculty to become successful independent physician-scientists.
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