The primary goal of this ongoing interdisciplinary training program, currently in the 25th year, is to bring together pre-clinical scientists and translational investigative researchers to catalyze the transformation of postdoctoral students from both basic science and clinical disciplines into independent academic faculty committed to kidney-relevant research. The training program builds on new initiatives in renal pathophysiology, cell and molecular biology, vascular biology, basic immunology, genetics, transplantation, acute and chronic kidney disease and in clinical and translational research. The UAB Clinical and Translational Science Award and the Office for Postdoctoral Education provide essential facilities that embrace trainee education as well as mentor training, also a major goal of this program. The Program accepts PhD and MD scientists from a large applicant pool that now includes physicians in the American Board of Internal Medicine Research pathway, which recruits highly meritorious candidates to pursue a career in academic medicine. Twenty-two (50%) of our 44 trainees are in academia, 20% are still pursuing post-graduate training and 7% have pursued non-academic positions, although still in science-based careers. Trainees have been successful in obtaining 20 highly competitive extramural grants, including 13 career development awards. During the past 10 years, 18 trainees have published 68 peer- reviewed publications including papers in high-impact journals. The program has benefitted from a multidisciplinary collaborative faculty from 9 Departments (Medicine, Cell Developmental and Integrative Biology, Epidemiology, Microbiology, Emergency Medicine, Genetics, Pathology, Pediatrics, Surgery) and robust institutional infrastructure and support. The strong commitment of the 34 preceptors, organized in four thematic areas - renal physiology and pathophysiology, epithelial biology, vascular biology related to kidney disease and clinical and translational research - who are actively involved in the training of young scientists in the use of basic and applied approaches are also strengths of this training grant. The collaborative environment of our institution, embodied in the University-Wide Interdisciplinary Research Centers Program, the Nephrology Research and Training Center, and the NIDDK-funded O'Brien Center, provides an ideal setting for the implementation of interdisciplinary kidney-related research and training. Based on the accomplishments during this cycle, continued support of four postdoctoral trainees is being requested in this competing renewal application.
The Interdisciplinary Training in Kidney-Related Diseases Training Program is focused on training basic and translational investigators to be productive, highly motivated investigators in the future. Our trainees are selected from a competitive pool of independent postdoctoral fellows who show interest in furthering the fundamental understanding of diseases of the kidney.
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