The brain is the most frequent site of crippling and incurable human disease. Although basic neuroscience discoveries are rapidly advancing, these discoveries cannot be leveraged to reduce the burden of human disease unless they are responsibly translated critically evaluated in clinical practice. The time allowed for research training in Neurosurgery has been reduced in favor of funded enfolded clinical Fellowships. Neurosurgeons, however, have unique access to patients with neurological disease. As such, they are ideally positioned to advance basic science and translate neuroscience discoveries into clinical practice. However, training in the principles, costs, and responsible conduct of research is lacking in both medical school curricula and Neurosurgery residency training programs. Thus, there is a clear need to enhance the interests and capability of neurosurgeons as partners in the translation of neuroscience discoveries into humans. The program proposed here will provide a unique and rigorous approach to engage and educate neurosurgeons in these areas. The program will integrate didactic training within the context of the Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) with specific guidance on career development and mentorship by a multidisciplinary faculty with significant experience in broad areas relevant to neuroscience research and practice - including neurobiology, neuro-oncology, biomedical engineering, clinical research, bioethics, global health, economics, genome science, public policy, brain imaging, molecular physiology, and cognition. The Program Director and an Executive Committee will review program and trainee performance quarterly, as well as review applicants and mentors. Trainees will be recruited during and after residency training from a local, national, and international pool with a particular emphasis on engaging under-represented minorities.
Our Specific Aims are to: 1. Educate a diverse group of residents or fellows with training in Neurosurgery in basic neuroscience, statistical methodology, clinical trial conduct, and the responsible conduct of research; 2. Cultivate a mentored research experience in basic, translational, or clinical research; and 3. Guide career development and feedback on grant writing.

Public Health Relevance

The brain is the most frequent site of crippling and incurable human disease. Important basic discoveries, financial models, and health policies in the neurosciences are not being translated into clinical practice where they could reduce the burden of human neurologic disease and reduce costs because Neurosurgeons lack the requisite skills and knowledge base to conduct high-quality clinical, translational, and basic science research despite their unique access to the nervous system and patients with nervous system disease. This proposal describes a program to enhance the interest and capability of Neurosurgeon-scientists who will fill the need to translate basic discoveries into novel treatments for human neurologic diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZNS1)
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Korn, Stephen J
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Duke University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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