The Department of Neurology at UCSF has been the institutional sponsor for the R25 program at UCSF over the past 10 years and is the home department for this application renewal. Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Neuropathology have supported outstanding research training candidates through this program. The Department of Neurology has an excellent record for attracting outstanding medical students destined for neurology. Out of 280 applications from US medical graduates for 10 adult neurology positions in 2018, we were fortunate to match all 10 positions to the top seventeen applicants on our rank list. The department aspires to train the next generation of national neurology leaders, and our neurology residency graduates transition in high numbers to long-term academic careers as laboratory investigators, clinical science (patient- based) investigators, and university-based clinician teachers. The opening of the Sandler Neurology Research Building at the Mission Bay campus (see facilities below) in 2012 has resulted in greatly expanded opportunities for research trainees and collaboration between laboratory research programs in a common space and with nearby research programs (e.g., Gladstone Institute, VA Laboratories at Mission Bay). The intellectual environment is productive and exciting for trainees. Monthly multidisciplinary conferences (e.g., Brain Club and Grand Rounds) host speakers who discuss translational science issues that attract both clinicians and bench scientists, many of these programs are specifically directed at the level of the trainee. These conferences are followed often by an opportunity to informally mix with colleagues who have diverse clinical and scientific interests. The R25 has been a crucial linchpin for the development of research skills by our talented young physician- scientists in neurology, neurosurgery, and neuropathology at UCSF. In an era of increased competition for limited resources, the R25 has become a reliable source of encouragement as well as a stable NIH program for ensuring that our most talented early career neuroscientists are well-supported and well-mentored.
The burden of increasing numbers of older adults in the United States continues to add to the societal burden of neurologic disease, but current treatments and prevention strategies are ineffective for many of these disorders. By supporting early translational research training and experiences for young physician-scientists, the R25 research education and research program continues to be an important mechanism for stoking the pipeline for physician-neuroscientists who will make important translational research discoveries that improve the future prevention and treatment of nervous system diseases. The translational neuroscience community at UCSF is positioned to expand the outstanding environment for the R25 program by virtue of our commitment to training physician-scientists, demonstrated track record of success, existing and anticipated future new facilities, and the research accomplishments of our faculty.
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