The goal of the Boston Children's Hospital, Division of Nephrology's T32 program, Research Training in Pediatric Nephrology, is to develop academic physicians and scientists who will establish independent investigative careers in areas relevant to the understanding of childhood kidney diseases. Boston Children's is the home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric institution. This infrastructure has allowed our program to offer pediatric nephrology fellows extensive research training opportunities in broad areas of relevance to pediatric renal disease. According to U.S. News & World Report, the Division of Nephrology is ranked #1 in the USA. Our Training Faculty are leaders in their fields and have significant experience in mentorship, and their research interests represent the diversity of basic, translational and clinical research in the discipline of nephrology. Over the past 5 years, a total of 25 pediatric nephrology trainees were enrolled in our program and they contributed to a total of 361 citations (192 manuscripts and 169 abstracts), representing an average of ~2 publications per trainee per year. The other 57 postdoctoral MD, MD/PhD and PhD trainees enrolled in our program during the past 5 years (of whom 6 were T32 training grant eligible) contributed to a total of 621 citations (343 manuscripts and 278 abstracts), also representing ~2 publications per trainee per year. A total of 23 pediatric nephrology trainees received at least one award, and several received notable grants including NIH K awards, one K99/R00 award, Pediatric Scientist Development Program (PSDP) grants, a Clinical Investigator Training Program (CITP) award and a Nephcure grant; several trainees also received Foundation, Association and industry grants. Also, all pediatric nephrology trainees were recruited by academic institutions upon completion of their training. In the next cycle of funding, we plan to significantly restructure our program to enhance the competitiveness of our trainees in the current era of decreased NIH funding. We have established new initiatives to recruit experienced trainees and we will provide rigorous oversight by experienced NIH-funded faculty. In addition, we have created incentives for committed trainees to extend their research training beyond the typical 2 years. The recent recruitment of the Howard Hughes Institute Investigator Dr. Friedhelm Hildebrandt as Division Chief will further support these initiatives and will create significant new opportunities for training in pediatric renal genetics research. Other new research collaborations involve faculty at Boston Children's Hospital, the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Massachusetts General Hospital, so that trainees have a wide variety of scientific training opportunities in investigative nephrology. Overall, in the next cycle, our extensive infrastructure, our experienced faculty and our restructured training plan will provide trainees access to extensive opportunities for productive research careers in the field of childhood renal disease.
The goal of this T32 is to train committed individuals in basic, translational and clinical research so that they may develop an understanding of the pathogenesis of pediatric renal disease. In the next cycle of funding, we plan to increase opportunities for research, and we will enhance the competitiveness and productivity of our trainees for career-development in broad areas of relevance to pediatric renal disease. We anticipate that this T32 will continue to initiate the careers of individuals who make fundamental discoveries and promote innovation in the science of pediatric nephrology.
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