This proposal requests support for the continuation of a research training program in academic Gastroenterology that was established in 1999. The Program Director is Dr. Ciarn P Kelly, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Fellowship Program Director in Gastroenterology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). Continued support is requested for four trainee positions per year with each trainee spending two to three years in the training program. Trainees will have received an MD, PhD or MD-PhD degree and have a background in relevant scientific disciplines. The main criteria for selection will include educational achievements, demonstrated achievement and ability in biomedical research and a commitment to developing an academic career in research related to digestive disorders. Training will consist primarily of a mentored research program in health-related basic science, clinical research projects or translational research studies developed according to the needs, talents and career goals of the trainee. The main training site is the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Division at BIDMC. Additional BIDMC training sites will be in the Divisions of Endocrinology, Immunology, Nephrology, Systems Biology, Vaccines and Vascular Biology. External sites will be at the Harvard School of Public Health (Epidemiology & Biostatistics), the Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center, Boston (Gastroenterology) and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), (Pediatric Gastroenterology). A wide range of facilities and research cores are available at BIDMC, Harvard Medical School, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Boston VA and the MGH as well as through the Harvard Catalyst program (Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Award). All sites are situated in close proximity facilitating ongoing interactions. The T32 faculty performs GI-related research in many areas that can be grouped into four general themes: Liver Injury & Fibrosis, Infection & Immunity, Vascular Biology and Epithelial Biology. The cornerstone of the training program lies in the individual mentorship provided by our senior and accomplished faculty. This is augmented by a structured program of research seminars and lectures, journal clubs, laboratory presentations and ongoing career mentoring. Interested trainees will be encouraged to pursue advanced training including a Masters degree, if appropriate, (Masters in Public Health or Masters in Medical Science) or to take non-degree classes in areas important to their research career development. The central focus of the program is to enable talented and dedicated young scientists to advance their careers in academic medicine and eventually to become productive and independent investigators researching questions relevant to digestive health and disease.
This program will address a critical issue in medicine, and especially in Gastroenterology, which is the dwindling supply of well-trained and productive physician-scientists and basic researchers focusing on GI and liver diseases. We will provide individual, mentored training programs and assistance in career development to highly talented and dynamic, physicians and scientists. Our ultimate goal is enable and to guide trainees so that they will compete successfully for funding that will allow them to develop careers as independent and productive researchers and faculty members at leading Universities, Laboratories and Medical Centers.
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