UCSD Biomedical Scientist Career Development Program in Glycoscience. Glycans are a vital part of all biological systems and are involved in all disease processes, but progress in understanding these key components of life has lagged far behind that of other macromolecules. Consonant with the 2012 National Research Council report ?Transforming Glycoscience: A Roadmap for the Future?, efforts such as the Consortium for Functional Glycomics and the NIH Director?s Common Fund Glycoscience Initiative have sought to correct some of the technical problems, such as deficiencies in glycan synthesis, lack of tools for probing and analyzing glycans, and glycobioinformatics. The NHLBI Programs of Excellence in Glycosciences began to fill another deficiency?the lack of young investigators fluent in the concepts of glycan chemistry and biology and skilled in working with glycans. Meanwhile, the NHLBI convened a Working Group to consider mechanisms to address the still unmet need for training young scientists and physician-scientists in glycoscience, which led to this K12 Request for Applications. The leadership and faculty of the University of California (UCSD) Glycobiology Research and Training Center have played key roles in many of the above national efforts, while locally establishing coursework, the 3rd edition of Essentials of Glycobiology, core facilities and symposia that have already contributed toward excellent training in glycoscience. With 18+ years of experience, the Glycobiology Research and Training Center is uniquely positioned to respond to this request for applications with a career development program that will train a new generation of biomedical researchers versed in glycoscience. Recent graduates with MD, PhD or MD/PhD degrees will be recruited from local physician-scientist and PhD-granting programs and via national advertising to train for 2-3 years under established investigators in biomedical, biological and chemical sciences, who have a strong knowledge base regarding glycans. Run by three PIs with expertise in each of these fields, the Program will provide structured didactic and hands-on training in glycoscience through research projects relevant to the NHLBI mission. Nineteen outstanding scientists with interest in glycoscience will serve as mentors. Trainees will be exposed to currently available state-of-the-art technologies in glycan research through the GlycoAnalytics Core at UCSD, by rotation through other Consortium sites, or through short courses offered at other institutions. The UCSD Program will promote trainee diversity by active participation in national outreach programs and the existing UCSD IRACDA program. Regular networking with Visiting Professors/Advisors and participation in local, national and international symposia will round out their training. The UCSD Program will train as many 18 Scholars over the next 5 years, launching their careers as independent investigators who see glycans as integral components of their expertise, and central to their own scientific discoveries.
The objective of this training proposal is to develop a research career development program that will train a new generation of biomedical researchers versed in glycoscience. Recent graduates with MD, PhD or MD/PhD degrees will be recruited from local physician-scientist and PhD- granting programs and via national advertising to train for 2-3 years under established investigators in biomedical, biological and chemical aspects of the discipline.