Cardiovascular disease, stroke and cognitive impairment / dementia are leading causes of death and disability, and they arise from several common antecedents. The Vermont Center for Cardiovascular and Brain Health (VCCBH) COBRE at the University of Vermont (UVM) will address these diseases by supporting diverse scientists from multiple disciplines who will work together to understand the pathobiology and molecular epidemiology of these diseases. The Administrative Core (Core A), led by COBRE PIs Drs. Mary Cushman and Mark Nelson, will be the heart of the VCCBH. It will provide administrative infrastructure and resources that will produce the next generation of science leaders at UVM. Four junior faculty Project Directors (PDs) are central to our effort. Core A will be accountable for key functions necessary for PD success, for Cores, for engaging prospective PDs to replace the first cohort, and ultimately, for the future sustainability of the VCCBH. Core A will foster innovation by creating a culture of openness, diversity, and collaboration. The Core will administer an Interdisciplinary Strategic Mentoring Initiative to guide PDs to independent status (Aim 1). Multidisciplinary mentoring teams will include two Senior Mentors, a Peer Mentor at the ?first independent step? career stage, and an experienced External Mentor. The Peer Mentor will benefit from this early opportunity to provide faculty mentoring. The Core will develop and employ a comprehensive Faculty Development Program (FDP) and Core facilities focused on PDs (Aim 2). The FDP will be highlighted by an institutionally supported Pilot Grant Award program that will provide 4 grants of $200,000 each to pairs of junior faculty with different research backgrounds. The capstone of the FDP will be an annual 2-day research symposium that will highlight PD research and development of new projects. The Core will supervise development of new Cores in ?Study Design and Molecular Epidemiology? and ?Customized Physiology and Imaging.? The Core will manage the VCCBH budget, and assist and educate the PDs in budget management (Aim 3). Core A will coordinate Internal and External Advisory Boards, develop outcome metrics, and provide semi-annual reports on these to PDs, mentor teams, and Advisory Boards (Aim 4). Finally, the Core will provide communication across the University and beyond on the Center's scientific expertise, Core resources and databases, and resources generated by the VCCBH (data, specimens, study protocols, new techniques, and research results) (Aim 5). A Communications Committee will include professionals from the Office of Communications of the Larner College of Medicine and the UVM Foundation in order to promote philanthropy. By completing the Specific Aims we will: (1) propel 4 early-career scientists to independence; (2) cultivate a pipeline of early career scientists to fill PD positions as original PDs achieve funding; (3) recruit 5 new junior faculty to UVM to enter our pipeline of prospective PDs; (4) promote collaboration amongst faculty and trainees working in cardiovascular and neurovascular research across the colleges of UVM.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
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University of Vermont & St Agric College
United States
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