The University of Michigan Child Health Research Career Development Award (CHRCDA) program is designed to support the career development of junior pediatric investigators. CHRCDA scholars participate in an intensive, mentored training program in cell and molecular biology as well as a didactic educational program designed to ensure their continued research development. Since its launch in 1992, the Michigan CHRCDA has contributed to the training of nearly 50 pediatrician-scientists, the majority of whom have obtained R-level NIH funding for the study of childhood diseases.
The Aims of this renewal application are to: 1) Recruit the most promising junior pediatrician-scientists for training, including those from diverse backgrounds. In order to broaden the scope, reach and diversity of our pediatrician-scientist ?pipeline,? we now plan to undertake a regional collaboration with the Children's Hospital of Michigan, an affiliate of Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. 2) Enhance the translational research training of pediatrician-scientists. It is essential for scholars to participate in translational research teams bringing together physicians, bench scientists, statisticians, patent experts, and more. To accomplish this goal, we plan to leverage the resources of the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR, home of the University of Michigan CTSA), and 3) Recognize that many pediatric diseases are more common in underserved populations and arise in part from dietary and environmental exposures. Childhood obesity and exposure to lead and other environmental toxins are important contributors to disease in Michigan children. To address this need, we plan to further extend our mentor base from the University of Michigan Department of Pediatrics to other Departments and Schools, including the University of Michigan School of Public Health and the Wayne State University Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. To achieve these Aims, the Program Director, Dr. Opipari, and Co-Training Directors, Drs. Hershenson and Lipshultz, will be assisted by 1) a Scientific Advisory Committee to oversee program direction and scholar selection and evaluation; 2) an External Advisory Board to provide an independent review of the program; 3) an Education Core to oversee scholar didactic training; 4) two Recruitment Officers to assist in identification and recruitment of minority candidates; and 5) National Program Reviewers who will be invited to campus to perform an annual review of the program and assess the progress of the UM CHRCDA Scholars. Finally, due to the urgent need to train pediatrician-scientists, the University of Michigan Medical School Dean's Office and the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases has agreed to supply matching funds for one additional Scholar per year for the five-year term of the award.
This is a competitive renewal application for continued support of the Child Health Research Career Development Award Program at the University of Michigan Department of Pediatrics. The U-M CHRCDA program trains junior pediatric-scientists in scientific methods, tools and technologies to study diseases that afflict children and young adults.
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