There is an urgent need for Ob/Gyn physicians who perform independent research relevant to women's reproductive health. This renewal proposal is designed to help meet that need by extending WSU's 15-year track record of success in training such physician scientists. 85% of the 14 who have been trained through WSU's Women's Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) Career Development Program remain in academic research positions. 21% are from underrepresented groups, attesting to WSU's commitment to enhance diversity. In addition to research productivity, some alumni of the Program have already risen to high levels of academic and scientific leadership. The proposed Program is expected to graduate two 'carryover' Scholars who are near completion of their training, as well as 3-to-4 newly recruited Scholars. To help assure that training will begin with high-quality individuals who are passionate about research, a dedicated Recruiting Officer has been added - one who has extensive experience as a recruiter. The national network of contacts held collectively by the PD/PI, Research Director, Recruiting Officer and Mentors is expected to identify outstanding candidates. There will be 6 training aims: (1) provide an individualized educational program, which will include training in biomedical publication and can include a PhD in Reproductive Science; (2) provide ancillary skills that will help Scholars gain maximally from the WRHR Program; (3) provide a strong, mentored research experience; (4) emphasize training in the art of grantsmanship, with the expectation that, before graduation, each Scholar will write and submit a competitive grant application for extramural support of his/her research; (5) network Scholars with successful physician scientists in research areas that are relevant to women's reproductive health; and (6) assure that each Scholar is well grounded in the responsible conduct of research. Matriculation through the Program will be guided by Mentors who have been selected to have complementary experience and expertise. All 18 have a successful track record of mentoring and are extramurally funded. There are basic and clinical scientists, men and women, majority and minority investigators, those who are based in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and those who are based in departments elsewhere on campus. There will be oversight of the Program by an improved, smaller Advisory Committee, three members of which will be from other universities to reduce internal biases and increase networking of Scholars. The entire program will be evaluated semiannually (both formative [process] and summative [outcomes] approaches will be used) by an outside, objective evaluator. The University, the School of Medicine and the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology have made financial commitments that will add $375,000 to NICHD's commitment over the 5-year duration of the proposed Program. Research and clinical resources for the Program are under control of the PD/PI, which guarantees Scholars protected time for research and access to the resources that they need to be successful. Among supporting resources is a 75,000 sq. ft. research building dedicated to women's reproductive health.

Public Health Relevance

The training and research proposed in this renewal application are relevant to public health because they have the potential to improve women's reproductive health. The purpose of the training is to increase the number of Ob/Gyn physicians who are qualified and prepared to conduct independent biomedical research in the area of women's reproductive health. The outcomes of such research are expected to improve prevention and treatment of reproductive and perinatal conditions, thereby reducing morbidity, mortality and reproductive-health disparities among women throughout their lifespans.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) (K12)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1)
Program Officer
Halvorson, Lisa M
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Wayne State University
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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