This is a competing renewal for the NICHD Institutional Training Grant for Pediatricians (T32 HD043010, Training of the Pediatric Physician-Scientist) at Washington University School of Medicine. Our long-term objective is to utilize this funding to promote the career development of young pediatric physician scientists who will become the future leaders in the biomedical research efforts dedicated to child health.
The aims of this proposal are to identify potential trainees at the completion of their residency training or in the midst of fellowship training, and to provide them with a two-three year research experience in the laboratory of a qualified mentor, protected from clinical and teaching responsibilities and with a specific research focus relevant to pediatrics. During the recently completed funding period, nine excellent candidates were supported (including six women and one under-represented minority). Five have completed training and three of these have received K awards. Our long-term objective and aims remain unchanged in this renewal application; however, we have significantly expanded the scope of our program with the development of two pathways (basic science and translational medicine). We shall achieve our long-term objective by applying the recent advances in the sciences to an understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of a broad spectrum of diseases within the Pediatric arena. In order to accomplish this, we shall combine the established areas of investigative strengths of the Washington University School of Medicine and the Department of Pediatrics. We have now incorporated a new area of emphasis (Track II); namely, translational medicine which includes epidemiology, biostatistics, and patient- oriented research. Our program will ultimately close the gap between basic biologists and pediatric clinicians. We have in place a structure in which bright, motivated, young physicians shall flourish in a protected environment and will emerge as leaders in an evolving area of Pediatrics. Alan L. Schwartz, Ph.D., M.D. will continue to serve as P.I. and Mary Dinauer, M.D., Ph.D. will serve as Training Director. The program takes advantage of 34 established investigators across Washington University School of Medicine who will serves as mentors to our trainees. The long-term goals of the program will be realized as its trainees contribute to the development of and leadership as pediatric physician-scientists during the next two or more decades.
Despite the tremendous advances in basic science and biomedical research over the past two decades, we now have an increasing shortage of training opportunities for pediatricians who intend to pursue research careers directed at diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of infants and children. Translation of discoveries into substantial improvements in child health requires that the imagination and creativity of young trainees be nurtured in the most exciting and productive research environments. This proposal is intended to accomplish this.
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