The focus of this proposed new post-doctoral training program is to educate clinician-scientists, primarily surgeons and surgical trainees, in the techniques and methods that comprise the fields of translational research and systems biology. Each trainee will be linked with a research mentor and a career mentor who will provide guidance and feedback on a regular basis to the trainee. The research ?raw material? will be human samples and data that are obtained as part of the rich ongoing clinical and translational research programs at Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington. Our previous training program emphasized ?Key Initiatives? from the ?NIH Roadmap? with a focus on bench research. We recognize that bench research is less appealing to potential trainees who are interested in pursuing an academic career as clinician-scientists and have more options for training than in the past. We must be attentive to this reality. Redirecting our program is necessary to encourage promising and interested surgeons to study the biology of trauma and critical illness. Over the past 10 years our research and research training programs have de facto become more focused on translational research and systems biology and less reliant on bench research. We have also provided our trainees with more structured education (most of our recent trainees have obtained a Master's degree through the school of public health and all have enrolled in graduate level courses in molecular biology, statistics and epidemiology. With this application and over the next 5 years, we will provide one trainee per year a core curriculum of advanced training in translational research methods and enrollment in the University of Washington's School of Public Health's master's program. We will: (1) Educate our fellows in advanced research methods, by pairing them with active research mentors, programs and resources of their choice. (2) Enhance their experience and likelihood of career success with access to research and career mentors. (3) Offer additional educational opportunities in collaboration with the Institute of Translational Health Sciences. (4) Strive to establish a truly diverse research training enterprise that will reduce disparity in biomedical research and bring the benefits of diversity to our field. In summary the three legs of our research training program are: (1) Our individual research programs and our cumulative experience provide the raw material and direct experience (2) Expanded opportunities for advanced course work in order to obtain a Master's degree (3) An institutional environment that supports biomedical research education with robust training in the responsible conduct of research and an environment encouraging collaboration.
Traumatic injury, infection and critical illness are important societal and health care concerns. Understanding the biology and applying new technologies as well as established methods are important to improving management and outcomes. In this new application, we focus on providing trainees with skills needed to become clinician-scientists and experts in the techniques and skills that comprise systems biology and translational research.