Research benefitting the health of children requires training a new generation of pediatric physician-scientists prepared for independent careers in basic biomedical research. The collaborative research enterprise of Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is committed to meeting this need. During the past five year cycle of funding for the NICHD Child Health Research Career Development Program, the Atlanta Pediatric Scholars Program enrolled 8 outstanding young investigators, 3 of whom are currently continuing their K12 appointments. The 5 Scholars who have completed their appointments have been tremendously successful; one has received both R56 and R01 grants, 2 have received K08 awards, and the other 2 have K08 applications that have been reviewed and received scores in the fundable range. Collectively, APSP Scholars have published 57 manuscripts during the project period. For this renewal application, we have expanded the training faculty to 30 basic science investigators, each with an active laboratory research program, with total extramural grant support of $29.6 M and an additional $27 M in resources from start-up funds. Reflecting the program's multidisciplinary approach, 9 prospective mentors are outside the Department of Pediatrics, in other Emory departments, including the Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint department between Emory and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Robust fellowship programs in the Department of Pediatrics and continued recruitment of junior faculty provide a large pool of outstanding Scholar candidates. The formal training curriculum is grounded in intensive laboratory research in areas of basic and translational science relevant to child health, mentored by experienced investigators, and supplemented by didactic coursework, career development training, and participation in scientific exchange. The APSP marshals Emory's extensive resources for faculty career development toward the goal of training pediatric physician-scientists. The strengths and resources of the Emory research enterprise, along with partnership with Georgia Tech, bolster a critical mass of investigators working in a variety of child health-related disciplines within the Emory Department of Pediatrics to create an ideal environment for basic research career development. The research infrastructure to support this program is therefore in place, and robust partnerships among Emory, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Georgia Tech continue to support recruitment and expansion of the research enterprise. Training of physician-scientists from minority and underprivileged backgrounds is a particular focus of this program, and will be facilitated by existing strengths and partnerships in Atlanta. The program includes a rigorous system for tracking and assessing progress. The Atlanta Pediatric Scholars Program is an important component of a growing academic enterprise in Atlanta focusing on child health, and is poised to provide outstanding career development for the next generation of leaders in child health research.
The Atlanta Pediatric Scholars Program will train physician-scientists in fundamental research on child-health related problems. This career development program is a collaboration between Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. The program seeks to train outstanding, independent physician-scientists to be the next generation of leaders in pediatric research.
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