With the implementation of regulatory and other activities under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is now a need for research in tobacco regulatory science that addresses the most critical gaps and uncertainties relevant to the FDA programs. The University of Southern California (USC) Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS) will complement the training of discipline-based researchers with the additional understanding and competencies needed by scientists in tobacco regulatory research. The USC TCORS will recruit trainees at the pre- doctoral and post-doctoral levels and also identify several established investigators who will transition into research within the domain of tobacco regulatory science. The training model will be based around the core knowledge and competencies needed for researchers in tobacco regulatory science who need a deep and general understanding of evidence-based policies and of the translation of scientific evidence into initiatives that may be regulatory or non-regulatory. To this understanding, the USC TCORS will add specific and focused familiarity with the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (the Act) and the activities of the FDA under the Act. Trainees also need a broad and multidisciplinary understanding of tobacco and health and of tobacco control. The Training Directors (Drs. Jonathari Samet and Heather Wipfli) have extensive experience in research training generally and in tobacco control specifically. The Research Training and Education Core will: 1) develop a competency-based research and training plan that includes a core curriculum and a career development program;2) develop courses in tobacco regulatory science available onsite and in a distance-based format;3, recruit pre-(N=3) and post-doctoral (N=3) trainees, giving emphasis to candidates from vulnerable populations, as well as transitioning several established investigators into tobacco regulatory science;and 4) use distance-based approaches for collaboration across the TCORS in education and training.
The USC TCORS will train researchers who will be able to carry out studies that support the FDA in its role of reducing the public health impact of tobacco use. The scientists trained will include young pre-doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers, and established investigators. They will gain new skills to carry out research in tobacco regulatory science, increasing the number of researchers in this field.
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