This is an application for the competitive renewal of a T32 Institutional National Research Service Award for a successful postdoctoral training program in medical rehabilitation research that focuses on brain injury and neurological disability. We propose to train 4 postdoctoral level trainees per year, each for a total duration o 2- 3 years. The training program is based in the Johns Hopkins Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and in the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. Kennedy Krieger is a major center for clinical care and research on neurological disabilities in children and young adults on the Johns Hopkins University medical campus. These programs complement programs of the Department of PM&R at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Good Samaritan Hospital, and the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Trainees have the opportunity to work with faculty advisors from the Kennedy Krieger Institute, the Department of PM&R, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the departments of Neurology, Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. The mission of the program is to train postdoctoral researchers how to translate advances in neuroscience into neurorehabilitation interventions to improve outcomes for children and adults with neurologically based disabilities. The goals of the program are to: 1) train clinicians and basic scientists who will go on to make important contributions that advance the rehabilitation of patients with brain and spinal cord injuries and other neurological disabilities; 2) equip these trainees with the skils needed to become independent grant-funded investigators. The focus of the training program is on a mentored period of hypothesis-driven translational clinical and/or laboratory based research. Faculty have expertise in one or more of five major rehabilitation themes: 1) pediatric brain injury rehabilitation; 2) swallowing and recovery from dysphagia; 3) brain plasticity and recovery; 4) spinal cord rehabilitation and regeneration; 5) neurorehabilitation outcomes and clinical trials. A training program management committee provides specific goals for progress of trainees to achieve core research competencies, and they monitor progress closely. The program provides a strong curriculum of weekly conferences, journal clubs and didactic lectures that reflect the research and scholarly environment at Johns Hopkins. The program has trained more than 40 researchers and university faculty members who are active in rehabilitation research, and have high profile careers and R01 grants. Six recent graduates are supported by NIH career development awards.
This training program is directly related to improving treatment and reducing disability for millions of children and adults with disorders including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, autism, Parkinson's disease and numerous related disorders.
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