This competitive renewal was originally funded in 2002, and is now completing the fourth year of its second five-year cycle (10th year). This T32 builds upon established clinical and scientific strengths in various oncologic disciplines of the Departments of Surgery and Obstetrics/Gynecology. The partnership of both Departments with UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center provides an integrated infrastructure of collaborative bench science that spans fundamental molecular discovery to move scientific inquiry from bench-to-bedside for applied clinical and translational research. This training environment enhances the intra-collaborative, seamless trans-departmental initiatives available in Tumor Biology and Immunology, Human Genetics, Autoimmunity and Inflammation, Translational Clinical and Outcomes Research. The strategic goals of the research plan have special emphasis on the training of nascent, promising young Surgical-Scientists in their early post-doctoral years and who are in ACGME-approved training programs in Surgery or Gynecologic Oncology. Thus, this T-32 program coordinates the mentorship of promising post- doctoral ACGME resident-candidates who will aspire to academic faculty positions and will strengthen UAB's exceptional mentoring environment. This T-32 grant represents a mechanism for faculty collaboration and synergistic scientific interests among its four SPORE programs at UAB. Programmatically, an effective interdisciplinary research experience is implemented by the obligatory incorporation of the required teaching via mentors and the required course work for individual research plans. Course work in statistics and ethical conduct of research is augmented in this competitive renewal with formal instruction provided by the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) and the Office of Post-Doctoral Education in grantsmanship, manuscript writing, and translational research. Over the past five years, 22 ACGME resident-trainees in Surgery and Gynecologic Oncology were supported by this T-32 mechanism. Because post-graduate surgical training approaches 7-10 years, and T-32 Trainees conduct research in the early stages of their career, a significant number of trainees still have >5 years of surgical training remaining prior to academic appointment. Therefore, we are just beginning to see the academic success of our program after 10 years of continuous funding. In the past 10 years, there have been 36 trainees that have completed their T-32 training with 70 % of these residents continuing in academic biomedical research and practice / training. Moreover, in the past five years, this T-32 has been gender-balanced and has included 17% under-represented minorities. This T32 has, over the past ten years, provided continual strong commitment to trainees with oversight and encouragement of reciprocal commitment to careers in investigation and academia. This is reflected by those who have completed training with academic faculty positions in other Schools of Medicine within Departments of Surgery, its oncology disciplines, and Obstetrics/Gynecology. Continued funding is therefore requested annually for 6 post-doctoral resident-trainees.
This competitive renewal of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) Research Training Program in Surgical Oncology at UAB will enable interdisciplinary, research in discovery and translational science. The program provides a seamless transition from clinical medicine to integrated, mentorship of the resident-trainee and then back to clinical medicine. This collaborative scientific experience allows a range of research options from fundamental molecular discovery to the most advanced applications of translational clinical research. The training plan for Research Training in Surgica Oncology incorporates an established, dedicated, and experienced basic and clinical faculty. This faculty includes surgical-scientists and senior Ph.D.s who have expertise that further enhances the robust faculty interaction dynamic to provide a comprehensive mentoring environment. The successful track record of our efforts is the best demonstration of effective mentee promotion and surgical oncology carrer development , in all phases of the Program. Over the past five-year funding cycle, this program has been gender-balanced (33% women) and has included 15% under-represented minorities, thus enabling the programmatic commitment to diversity and excellence in a scientifically-balanced oncology training program focused upon Surgical Science. Importantly, the efforts to achieve retention of trainees in academic surgical oncology, its surgical disciplines and gynecological oncology has been outstanding ,with 86% continuing in university clinical and research positions .The current proposal expands and develops our infrastructure and organization, with more than a mere reformulation of past submissions; this renewal application constitutes a fresh redesign of our program with better selection of mentors, a revised curriculum and improved evaluation and monitoring mechanisms.
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