This Ruth Kirschstein NRSA training Program proposes to take primarily surgeons and other critical care medicine physicians during the second or third year of their general residency programs, and expose them to two, three and even four years of mentored research in inflammation biology with highly productive basic science mentors focused on inflammation?related topics. Four training positions are requested. The overall research program will focus on mastery of molecular biology, functional genomics and gene regulation, as it applies broadly to inflammation research. Although the bulk of the training program will be in the laboratory of an experienced research mentor, trainees will be expected to participate in didactic experiences that complement their research experience. Select trainees will have the opportunity to complete a Ph.D. program in the Graduate School in three to four years. Other trainees can participate in graduate certificate programs which are formal collections of courses that together form a coherent program of study offered through an academic unit. This training program takes advantage of the unique strengths of the College of Medicine in the expanding field of functional genomics and molecular biology, as well as the existing collaborations between basic scientists and clinicians committed to the training of future clinical academicians. The interface between molecular biology and inflammation research will be targeted to trauma, sepsis syndromes, ischemia/reperfusion injury, vascular injury, delayed wound healing and the burn wound. The faculty will be drawn from funded basic and clinical scientists in the Surgery, Medicine, Pathology, Aging and Geriatric Research and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Departments, who will serve as research mentors to the trainees. Clinical mentors from the Surgery, Medicine and Pathology Departments will interact with the trainees and the research faculty to assure that the trainees are being exposed to clinically?important issues in inflammation research. Overall direction of the program will rest with the Program Director and an Executive Committee. Candidates for the fellowship are recruited nationally and from the University of Florida College of Medicine (Gainesville, Jacksonville). Successful applicants with the Executive Committee will identify a research and clinical mentor who will help formulate a formal training program and periodic review of the trainee?s progress. Furthermore, trainees are expected to participate in basic science seminars in the Institute on Aging, Emerging Pathogens Institute and Genetics Institute, and in their own basic science departments, as well as laboratory research meetings. They will also be expected to attend clinical seminars, including Surgery and Critical Care Medicine Grand Rounds and the Department of Surgery Academic Research Conference. Based on our past experiences, it is anticipated that successful graduates of this training program will possess sufficient research skills to successfully compete for transitional funding in inflammation research and become leaders in academic surgery.

Public Health Relevance

Clinician-scientists play an essential role in the application of new technologies to the clinic. We propose that didactic training and a 2-4 year immersion in the laboratory of a successful basic scientist with expertise in molecular biology will provide a sound foundation for a career as a physician-scientist involved in translational research in inflammation biology, relevant to trauma, sepsis and burns. The successful trainee will develop expertise in functional genomics, molecular genetics and molecular biology to help translate the current genomic revolution to improved clinical practice, and will be prepared to serve as a national leader in surgical/clinical academics.

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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Zhao, Xiaoli
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University of Florida
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