The proposed Translational Research Training in Pediatric Nephrology T32 program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA is designed to prepare outstanding postdoctoral scholars (MDs and/or PhDs) for academic research careers in Pediatric Nephrology and aligned disciplines, at a time of declining numbers of physician-scientists nationwide and of expanding need for improved understanding and management of chronic disease care. During the initial 5-year period, with 4 postdoctoral trainees per year, each for a 2- or, if indicated, 3-year appointment, this new training program will fill a critical need or research focused on a diverse range of developmental issues in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and will advance the goals of interdisciplinary collaboration across the T1-T4 spectrum of translational medicine through rigorous cross- training in the different concepts and methods of basic, clinical, and population- and laboratory-based approaches to CKD, including assessment of health care system impact through health services research and policy analysis. Over the last several decades, major advances have occurred in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of kidney diseases in childhood, altogether resulting in the increased life span of such patients. This success has, however, brought new health status challenges, such as cardiovascular disease (the leading cause of death), muscle-skeletal problems, growth retardation, infections, and allograft loss, among others, all of which are optimally addressed from a developmental perspective. In response to these challenges, the interdisciplinary curriculum and mentored, hands-on research training of this new program encompass the biomedical and clinical sciences, including comparative effectiveness and patient-centered outcomes research, interweaving the scientific expertise and mentoring experience of 35 high-quality multidisciplinary faculty who are committed to collaborative, team-based science. The new training program will leverage the resources of the UCLA Specialty Training and Advanced Research Program, Training Program in Translational Science (former K30), and existing K12, T32, and R25 programs for the core curriculum and protected time, all collectively geared to achieve the following specific aims: (1) expand the multidisciplinary knowledge base of life and health sciences as it relates to different aspects of pediatric kidney diseases; (2) provide didactic and experimental research training in the intellectual and philosophical foundation of clinical-translational research; (3) develop trainees' scientific writing skills for publications ad grants; (4) provide an academic environment that enables development of the research skills and experience needed for successful, independent scientific careers in academic medicine as members and leaders of interdisciplinary teams in cross-cutting research domains germane to Pediatric Nephrology; and (5) model research-empowering teaching and mentoring skills for trainees' development, including their eventual replication of research training programs in life-span CKD and co-morbidities as their careers evolve into stable, scientific independence.
The overarching goal of the Translational Research Training in Pediatric Nephrology program is to cross-train postdoctoral scholars in innovative basic, clinical, laboratory- and population-based, and health services research. Training future leaders and researchers in the field of Pediatric Nephrology and aligned disciplines ultimately will advance our knowledge of pediatric kidney disease as well as the developmental implications over the life span and lead to improved treatment, outcomes, and overall quality of life in children and adults with chronic renal and urinary tract disorders.
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