Major gaps exist in the widespread implementation of proven clinical interventions into practice, which greatly limits the positive health impact of scientific discoveries. This new application seeks to establish the Vanderbilt Scholars in T4 Translational Research (V-STTaR) Program, to help train the next generation of implementation scientists to advance and improve population health in heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) disorders. We propose to support 5 faculty Scholars who have completed an MD or PhD in the health sciences at a level of 75% effort for 3 years, or until they successfully transition to an extramural award. Vanderbilt has an extremely strong environment and successful history of developing the careers of translational research scientists. A diverse pool of talented applicants is available through Vanderbilt's clinical/translational T32 grants; clinical/research fellowships in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematology, and sleep medicine; the VA Quality Scholars Fellowship (eight national sites including one in Nashville); research partners including Meharry Medical College; and recruitment through national organizations. V-STTaR Scholars will have access to a cadre of well-established faculty mentors with sustained NIH funding and an extensive and successful track record of mentoring early career scholars. Each Scholar's Research Advisory Committee will draw from an experienced pool of 27 mentors in HLBS research and T4 translation, as well as 12 experts in real-world implementation (ImpleMentors). The program will have 3 major components: 1) advanced didactics, including a new Certificate in Implementation Science offered through the established Master of Public Health (MPH) program; 2) formal mentorship and career development activities designed to prepare Scholars for a competitive academic research career in HLBS T4 research; and 3) experiential learning through a closely- mentored implementation research project. Each Scholar will have an individualized development plan with milestones, tailored to their scientific background, training needs, and career goals. V-STTaR Scholars will have access to a diverse clinical laboratory for their implementation research projects through Vanderbilt University Medical Center and its partnerships across the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network, community clinics, and Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). Scholars will be supported by a broad array of institutional resources for career development, including the Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research scholarly series, journal clubs, work-in-progress sessions, clinical and translational research seminars through the Newman Society (a professional group for all career development awardees at Vanderbilt), and peer mentoring activities with other successful K awardees. Taken together, these resources provide an optimal environment for developing the next generation of independent scientists who conduct T4 translational research in HLBS disorders and close the gap between evidence and practice.
While many great scientific discoveries have been made in recent decades, the pace of incorporating effective clinical interventions into practice is limited. This new application seeks to establish an individualized mentored training program for researchers to focus on the ?real-world? implementation of interventions to improve patient care in heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders. Vanderbilt offers an extremely supportive environment for developing research scientists in this area, with institutional research infrastructure, training seminars, dedicated mentors, and a diverse clinical setting.