Although some recognition of the unique aspects of the nervous system of the developing child clearly began in the 1800's, child neurology did not evolve as an independent intellectual and clinical discipline until the 1900's. Over this past """"""""Decade of the Brain"""""""", this relative newcomer to both the clinic and the research laboratory has begun to bear fruit. Identification of the gene defects responsible for the spino-cerebellar degenerations, spinal muscular atrophies, and Rett's syndrome, our new understanding of the importance of mitochondrial function for muscle and brain integrity, and ontological mapping and typing of the receptors for excitotoxicneurotransmitters are a few examples of contributions ofchild neurology to the body of knowledge that spans the gap between the clinic and the basic science laboratory. However, increasing emphasis on revenue generation, care for those who constitute the taxpaying and voting workforce, and repayment of medical school debt have made it increasingly difficult to attract, foster, and maintain a cadre of individuals whose interests are in the development of a translational bodyof knowledge and the dialogue between the laboratorybench and the clinic. It is absolutely vital that we establish and nurture venues in which to train and develop researchers at the interfacebetween pediatric neurology and developmental neurobiology. The present application proposes to take advantage of the high quality, interactive, and interdisciplinary faculty and environment of the University of Pittsburgh and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, to give clinically trained junior faculty in Child Neurology the opportunity to engage in and understand clinical and/or basic neurobiology research, develop in these faculty the thinking skills and knowledge base that will allow their application of basic neurobiological principles to clinical disorders of the developing nervous system, and foster the academic careers of these faculty by providing the guidance and framework necessary for the conduct of scientifically sound, ethical, and clinicallyrelevant research in neurobiology, and the environment and resources necessary to initiate their successful transition from mentored to independent researchers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) (K12)
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NST-2 Subcommittee (NST)
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Hirtz, Deborah G
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University of Pittsburgh
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United States
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