While tremendous advances in pharmacotherapy for adults have been achieved in recent years, expanding the benefits of these new therapies to infants and children remains a significant challenge. Important developmental changes in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, disease presentation and progression all impede direct translation of adult therapeutics into pediatrics. The discipline of pediatric clinical pharmacolog provides necessary training in developmental physiology to leverage existing knowledge and guide rational therapeutics for infants and children. However, the current pool of pharmacologists and pediatric sub- specialists with formal training in clinical pharmacology is both small and aging. This T32 Fellowship Program led by the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), entitled Developing Pediatric Clinical Pharmacologists for the Advancement of Therapeutics (DPCPAT), will provide cutting-edge research training and mentorship in pediatric clinical pharmacology, enabling our trainees to emerge as leaders among the ranks of pediatric academic investigators. The biomedical research community at UCSD has a long- established reputation of excellence, and now ranks in the top 5 in NIH research funding of all US institutions. Notably, the last 5-10 years have witnessed an impressive academic expansion within the UCSD Department of Pediatrics and its research mission, coupled with the solidification of the synergistic relationship among Rady Children's Hospital San Diego (RCHSD) and the UCSD Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy. We will provide ample evidence that the timing for creation of the DPCPAT training program at UCSD has never been better, and that our research training environment and faculty are truly world class by any measure. The overarching goal of the DPCPAT program will be to prepare Pediatric Physician-Scientists for the lifelong challenges of a sustained, independent and highly productive research. Dr. David Brenner, Dean and Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences, Dr. Jack Dixon, Associate Vice Chancellor for Scientific Affairs, Dr. Gabriel Haddad, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Dr. James McKerrow, Dean of the School of Pharmacy, have provided letters of UCSD institutional commitment to our proposed DPCPAT, confirming the central importance of this Program to the academic mission of the UCSD School of Medicine. The key objectives of our DPCAT are as follows: (1) To increase the number Pediatric clinical pharmacologists and Clinician-Scientists engaged in clinical pharmacology research as applied to child health; (2) to attract outstanding young pediatric clinicians to UCSD and to expand their translational capacity through clinical pharmacology methods; (3) to facilitate career development of DPCAT trainees under the guidance of world class, established investigator-faculty mentors; and (4) to cultivate the early careers of women and minority investigators in pediatric therapeutics. With our impressive group of mentors with outstanding training track records, UCSD DPCPAT Fellows will be poised to be tomorrow's leaders in pediatric clinical pharmacology.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed program is relevant to public health because clinical researchers trained in pediatric clinical pharmacology are critical to determine pediatric dosing that safe and effective for infants and children. Fellows in this training program entitled 'Developing Pediatric Clinical Pharmacologists for the Advancement of Therapeutics' will receive state-of-the-art training in a broad range of important topics that are central to pediatri clinical pharmacology in a strong mentorship environment. Thus, the proposed training program is relevant to NICHD's mission that 'all children have the chance to achieve their full potential for healthy and productive lives' as this program trains clinician-scientists the skills needed to excel within the field of pediatric clinical pharmacology.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1)
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Giacoia, George
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University of California San Diego
Schools of Medicine
La Jolla
United States
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Bertrand, Kerri A; Hanan, Nathan J; Honerkamp-Smith, Gordon et al. (2018) Marijuana Use by Breastfeeding Mothers and Cannabinoid Concentrations in Breast Milk. Pediatrics 142: