The discipline of Clinical Pharmacology seeks to apply an understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of drug action to improve the therapy of human diseases. The Division of Clinical Pharmacology at Vanderbilt offers an outstanding research-based, postgraduate fellowship program committed to training future leaders in the discipline. The mentoring faculty includes 20 members of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, along with 20 members of other divisions or departments. Collaborations among investigators focusing on common research themes are well-established in the Division; areas of research focus include 1) Drug metabolism/Pharmacogenetics/Personalized Medicine; 2) Eicosanoid and lipid mediator pharmacology; 3) Vascular biology and control of the circulation; 4) Ion channel pharmacology and arrhythmia pharmacogenomics; 5) Bone and cancer pharmacology; and 6) Pharmacoepidemiology. Additional collaborative efforts exist in pediatrics, cardiology, rheumatology, bioinformatics, genetics and neuropharmacology among others. The primary activity of trainees is research training in a mentored setting on questions directly relevant to drug action in man. Research can vary from bench-based translational work to clinical studies. There are currently 7 postdoctoral fellows (5 MDs and 2 MD, PhDs) supported by this grant. The duration of training is 2-3 years and individuals holding either an M.D., Ph.D., or Pharm.D. degree are supported. Research training under the direction of individual faculty mentors is supplemented by didactic course work and seminars. Required courses of trainees include research ethics, responsible conduct of research, biostatistics and study design, drug regulation and development, and pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. In addition, attendance at Clinical Pharmacology Grand Rounds and a weekly Fellows' Lecture Series is required. This curriculum supplements the trainees' research experience and provides a broad knowledge base that will allow for fellows to develop into successful leaders in Clinical Pharmacology. The excellence of the training program has resulted in substantially more applicants than positions. Growth of clinical pharmacology at Vanderbilt offers unique opportunities to further enhance the training program. Such growth includes the Oates Institute of Experimental Therapeutics that focuses on pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine; the Vanderbilt Center for Bone Biology; and the recently established Vanderbilt Center for Arrhythmia Research and Therapeutics (VanCART) - all components of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology. The overall mission of the Vanderbilt Clinical Pharmacology program is to train investigators who will ultimately assume leadership positions in the discipline and it has been highly successful in that mission. Of trainees supported by the award in the past 10 years approximately 90% are in academic medicine, industry, or government. Clinical Pharmacology at Vanderbilt is a vibrant and dynamic enterprise supported by a training program that is continually evolving to better meet the needs of its trainees.

Public Health Relevance

There is a critical shortage of individuals trained in clinical pharmacology - the science of studying drugs in man. The clinical pharmacology training program at Vanderbilt has been highly successful in producing well trained leaders in the field. The proposed program seeks to provide state-of-the art training for the next generation of clinical pharmacologists.

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)
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Garcia, Martha
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
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