This application for Translational Basic and Clinical Research Training in Rheumatology, under the leadership of Dr. Jill Buyon ? Director of the Division of Rheumatology at NYU, who brings translational expertise in SLE and long-standing mentorship ? is based on several years of rapid growth and attentive reflection with clear purpose: to support trainees through extended development toward leadership roles and meaningful contributions in science and medicine. Since the standard 2-year fellowship is simply not adequate to prepare fellows for academic careers, this program addresses the need to extend traditional ACGME training. We seek support for 3 physician postgraduates and 1 pre-doctoral MD/PhD trainee to establish an early pipeline to Rheumatology. During a brief hiatus after >30 years of uninterrupted NIAMS T32 funding, the Division has transitioned leadership; re-expanded the ACGME fellowship from 3 to 4 positions annually; fostered advancement of junior faculty with new tenure-track appointments; recruited faculty to fill unmet needs in rheumatology- focused basic science; established centers of translational research that include MiCRA (NYU Microbiome Center for Rheumatology and Autoimmunity), the Colton Center for Autoimmunity, and the Psoriatic Arthritis Center; and instituted SAMPLE (Specimen And Matched Phenotype Linked Evaluation), an IRB-approved biorepository utilizing a uniform consent to provide a shared division-wide resource for clinical and bench researchers. At the core of this proposal is interdisciplinary training along two methodologically distinct research tracks: reinvigoration of basic science career pathways, and clinical research encouraging inquiry relating to disparities and community engagement consistent with the populations we serve. In many cases the enriched training will include an advanced degree. Each track bears the prefix ?translational? ? be it basic or clinical ? to emphasize the common purpose of all healthcare investigators. An Early Scientist Pathway will be offered to MD/PhD candidates (translational-basic track only), with recruitment accomplished by partnering with the directors of the NYU MD/PhD and graduate programs in Immunology/Inflammation and Cell/Molecular Biology. Both tracks are grounded in core disease clusters reflecting faculty expertise and recognized leadership: 1) lupus and diseases of systemic autoimmunity; 2) inflammatory and autoimmune arthritis; and 3) degenerative and metabolic bone disease. Each track incorporates common and highly customized didactics; individualized research training experiences with a project team of Primary, Associate, and Methodological Mentors to bring clinical context to the bench and vice versa; an Advisory Career Development Committee; and planning to support post-T32 advancement to faculty positions. Programmatic success will be evaluated though quarterly meetings of the Executive Committee, semiannual meetings of the External Advisory Committee, and an Annual Retreat. Institutional commitment is strong with support for infrastructure and internal funding for physician- scientists. The NYU-HHC CTSI provides extensive resources available for the proposed training program.
Arthritis and systemic autoimmune diseases afflict more than 40 million Americans with pain, diminished functional capacity, and for many a shortened life span. To prepare national leaders dedicated to improving the lives and futures of those afflicted, this program provides advanced clinical and laboratory research training to physicians and scientists specifically focused on these diseases. Training will be accomplished through strong mentorship by experts in the field, specialized didactics, and substantial research projects.
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