The postdoctoral training program is designed to train a new generation of investigators with the cross-disciplinary skills needed to conduct future, independent programs in injury- related research. The training program began in 1975 in association with the NIGMS P50 Burn Trauma Center at MGH and the primary research and training activities remain within the Burn Trauma Center. The program has evolved during the last decade to include bioengineering applications for injury care through inclusion of the MGH Center for Engineering in Medicine. Expanded training opportunities in genomic technologies and computational analysis have been added to the program through collaboration with the NIGMS U54 Glue Grant Program. The training faculty is a balance of clinical and basic science faculty from Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Stanford with existing collaborations in the areas of burn injury, metabolism, bioengineering, and computational genomics. Through the collaborative and broad infrastructure that transcends institutional and disciplinary boundaries, the trainee is provided with the opportunity to learn fundamental principles of life sciences and engineering as well as computational genomics and proteomics, and to weave them into the trainee's own investigation of a cutting-edge biomedical problem. Although the training program is tailored to meet the needs of each trainee, formal academic classes (at Harvard/MIT or Stanford) in molecular techniques and tailored classes in responsible conduct of research and survival skills are required in the training program. In addition, the trainee is required to participate in journal clubs, research seminars, and established research meetings. Exposure to clinical care of acutely injured patients is provided through participation in clinical conferences at MGH and Shriners Burn Hospital. The trainee is under the supervision of a faculty trainer who, in turn, is responsible to the research training executive committee to ensure that the trainee is provided with a well-integrated, educational and research program coordinated with clinical medicine. The curriculum ensures that the trainee can complete the program within three years. Preference is given to candidates with an MD degree although PhD candidates with exceptional abilities and motivation are considered.

Public Health Relevance

A new breed of creative, well-versed investigators will learn clinical issues and techniques for modern injury research. For the next generation of investigators, this program will emphasize the integration of genomic and other high-throughput molecular data, and clinical information of patients with the promise of earlier disease detection, prediction of patient outcome trajectories, and identification of targets for interventions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-BRT-5 (PD))
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Somers, Scott D
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Massachusetts General Hospital
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