The long-term goal of the UW Voice Research Training Program is to foster development of translational research skills in future leaders in the field of voice science. We will provide promising predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows with comprehensive laboratory, translational and clinical research experiences, as well as exposure to curricula in clinical trials, hypothesis-based research, management, ethics, and data analysis. In addition, the training program offers medical students a short-term summer research opportunity to encourage future clinicians to become physician-scientists in the field of voice research. The program capitalizes on existing university resources, including the UW CTSA Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, and creates an outstanding voice program that is not matched elsewhere. All trainees are exposed to a unique program not typically found in doctoral programs in that laryngologists, physicians, engineers, basic scientists and speech-language pathologists interested in voice are trained together to create bridges needed in translational research. This program includes: (1) a pool of experienced, extramurally funded trainers from a variety of voice-related disciplines including surgery, medicine, oncology, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering and communication sciences and disorders, and (2) effective assessment processes, a plan to promote diversity by recruiting and retaining both women and minorities, and a solid plan for training in responsible conduct of research. This renewal application, based on our tremendous success over the last nine years, requests an additional five years of funding to maintain positions for five predoctoral trainees, two postdoctoral trainees and two short-term trainees each year. An important metric of success is that 19 trainees (predoctoral and postdoctoral) have completed the program to date and are continuing in environments that will facilitate their continued success in developing independent academic careers with a focus on voice disorders. An additional six trainees are currently appointed. We have had 16 short-term medical students with 2 enrolled for summer 2018. Trainees have demonstrated outstanding productivity as evidenced by publications and national presentations. Other indicators of success of the program include 7 individual F31 awards, 2 F32 fellowships and NIH funding (K & R grants) awarded to 3 past trainees, in addition to countless other awards, grant funding and scholarships. We have had robust interest in our training program over the last nine years from a well-qualified applicant pool and expect this interest to continue. For each trainee, the UW Voice Research Training Program has a proven track record of creating a dynamic research experience with an outstanding collaborative research team. Renewal of this training program will ensure the continued excellence and engagement of the next generation of voice scientists.
Voice disorders affect approximately 7.5 million Americans. However, there are not a sufficient number of individuals with the expertise and training to perform high quality basic, translational and clinical research that will result in successful treatments for these disorders. The University of Wisconsin Madison Voice Research Training Program is training graduate students as well as individuals with PhDs and MDs to lead successful academic careers with a focus on research in voice.
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