The future of dermatologic research is threatened by the decreasing numbers of MD and MD-PhD Dermatology residents that pursue careers in research and the lack of formal training of PhD basic science skin researchers in translational research. In this application, we propose the Future Academic Scientists in Dermatology (FASID) training program at Johns Hopkins to provide 3 slots for MD and MD-PhD Dermatology residents and PhD post-doctoral fellows to be trained in basic and clinical translational research in investigative dermatology. Each FASID trainee will have the opportunity to be mentored by one of our multidisciplinary R01- or equivalently-funded 13 Primary Faculty Mentors based within or outside of the Dermatology Department. Additional mentorship of the trainees will be provided by a Secondary Faculty Mentor within Dermatology and a 3-person mentorship panel to help ensure progress and a career path towards scientific independence. This FASID program will leverage many outstanding resources at Johns Hopkins, including the Cutaneous Translational Research Program (CTReP) (the Dermatology Department?s clinical trials unit with specific cohorts of patients), the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) (the NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Research Award [CTSA]), specific training in clinical research through the School of Public Health (Science of Clinical Investigation (SOCI) and ICTR (Introduction to Clinical Research Course) as well as multiple other institutes, centers and state-of-the-art core facilities. Since the training for Dermatology Residents will extend their residency training from 3 to 4 years, our Department has committed additional salary support in the 4th year to that of a clinical instructor so that there are no financial deterrents to pursuing a career in dermatology research. FASID Trainees will undergo formal core and elective coursework and an enrichment program, which include didactics in clinical research, the responsible conduct of research, grant writing and many aspects of performing clinical and translational research in dermatology. Finally, there will be many opportunities for both the trainees and mentors to evaluate and provide feedback on the progress of the research projects, educational curriculum and the overall training program to permit real-time improvements of the program. Successful implementation of the FASID training program is expected to produce investigators that will become part of the next generation of Dermatology researchers that will be ethnically diverse, and who will enter the workforce with the training in translational research to effectively move basic discoveries to new therapies to help patients suffering from skin diseases.
This Future Academic Scientists in Dermatology (FASID) program will provide young MD, MD-PhD and PhD investigators with the training, mentoring and skills that are necessary to become the next generation of full- time basic science and clinical researchers and scientific leaders in dermatology. The proposal is significant because skin diseases represent a broad range of inflammatory, autoimmune and genetic disorders as well as cutaneous malignancies, which are major challenges to public health due to their frequency, disfigurement, morbidity and mortality. It is crucial to develop future translational researchers in dermatology to more effectively translate basic science discoveries in skin biology into new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to improve the care of patients suffering from skin diseases.