Physician-scientists occupy a critical niche in the translation of basic science findings into new clinical treatments. Within the field of neurology, physician-scientists have been at the forefront, among many examples, in developing new models of human disease, developing new clinical treatments for Parkinson?s disease, epilepsy and stroke and identifying novel genetic signatures of brain tumors, glial progenitors and neural stem cells that may facilitate new therapies. However, the relative and absolute numbers of physician scientists have been declining over the past 25 years, despite the doubling of the NIH research budget during a portion of this epoch. This is in large part due to the prolonged nature of the training for a physician-scientist. The NIH has recognized this problem in the release of this RFA for Research Education Programs for Residents and Fellows in Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuropathology, Neuroradiology and Emergency Medicine. The goal of the neurology research education program in this grant proposal is to train neurology residents in either basic or clinical science research through direct investigative study, oral and written scientific presentation and intensive mentored career development. The structure of the training program incorporates several tiers of mentoring and focused time on oral and written presentations, with a culmination in the production of career development grant. This training program is supported by an excellent environment for neuroscience research and education in the UCLA Neurology Department. The department has been a top ten NIH funded neurology department, and has a large clinical and basic research faculty with diverse and well-funded programs. The residency program is relatively large (9 per year) with flexibility to place selected residents in a research program, and has a track record of training many academic neurologists. The proposed education program takes advantage of the substantial neuroscience community within the Neurology Department and allied departments to have a large and scientifically diverse group of mentors with great depth of research and past training experience. By serving to integrate clinical and basic neuroscientists with Neurology residents in the context of their clinical training program, this grant develops a Translational Neuroscience Training Grant.
Physician-scientists have an important role in developing new therapies for disease. However, the numbers of physician-scientists have been declining. This grant develops a research program to train physician-scientists in neurology using an innovative program of laboratory or clinical research training, close mentoring and didactics in grant writing and research ethics. Relevance to Public Health: This grant will develop physician scientists in neurology that will develop new therapies for human diseases.
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