The goal of this application is to enhance and renew the exceptional academic training currently provided in the UC San Diego Women's Reproductive Health Research Career Development Center (WRHR). WRHR Scholars are selected through nationwide searches by an Advisory Committee comprised of internationally recognized researchers who identify high-performing OB/GYN subspecialist physicians that aspire to scientific excellence in Women's Health and are committed to academic careers as physician-scientists. Members of the Diversity Committee participate in search committees led by the Recruitment Officer to select the most qualified candidates for consideration by the Advisory Committee. Scholars are matched with an established senior-scientist Mentor selected from a broad range of research including epidemiology, pre- and perinatal physiology, family planning, female pelvic medicine, reproductive endocrinology, embryology, and gynecological oncology. The program is flexibly organized into 2 phases: in the first 1-2 years, the Scholar works toward research competency; in the next 3-4 years, efforts are directed to achieving research independence and academic expertise. During Phase 1, didactic and practical instruction supplements intensive research focus, with minimal clinical work. First phase Scholars participate in the CREST program in epidemiology, biostatistics, data management, and informatics. In Phase 2, Scholars join the UCSD National Center for Leadership in Academic Medicine program that teaches academic development, leadership, and organizational effectiveness and prepares the Scholar to excel as an accomplished Associate Professor. Individualized instruction in grant writing, ethics, and medical enterprise is conducted by the highly experienced Principal Investigator and Research Director and the many exemplary Mentors (22), as well as the clinical and basic collaborators (21). Throughout, the Center's Leadership and Advisory Committee closely monitor the Scholars' progress in monthly meetings. The Research Director provides quarterly workshops on career advancement topics. An Individual Mentoring Committee (similar to a PhD Thesis committee), appointed specifically for each Scholar, meets twice yearly, ensuring that both the research environment and clinical demands are optimized and balanced. The Advisory Committee reviews the Scholars annually to assess their advancement and determine reappointment to the program. The impressive success of the Center over the past 15 years will be enhanced as a new a cadre of exceptional Scholars is recruited, trained, and transitioned into mature clinician-scientists. The primary goa of this program is to increase the research capacity of clinically trained obstetrician-gynecologists to address clinically relevant but under-served areas of Women's Health Research. This WRHR Program addresses the urgent need for greater numbers of physician-scientists performing research in OB/GYN and Women's Health, as well as the continued need for bridging clinical expertise with research training for physician-scientists to develop into independent leaders who will substantially advance women's health.

Public Health Relevance

The UC San Diego Women's Reproductive Health Research Career Development Program takes a multidisciplinary approach to prepare OB/GYN subspecialty-trained physician-scientists to become the future leaders in academic women's health research. Exceptional junior faculty Obstetrician-Gynecologists with M.D., M.D./Ph.D., or M.D./M.P.H. degrees are trained in the fields of reproductive sciences and Women's Health through advanced bench and translational research and/or engaging in clinical investigation guided by an outstanding, interdisciplinary team of experienced faculty mentors with diverse but complementary expertise, primarily from the Departments of Reproductive Medicine, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Family Medicine and Public Health. This program provides intensive basic, translational and clinical research training and fosters academic careers within the world-class intellectual environment of the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

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-DSR-L (50))
Program Officer
Halvorson, Lisa M
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University of California San Diego
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Schools of Medicine
La Jolla
United States
Zip Code
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