The primary objective of the Pediatric Hematology Research Training Program, which will complete its 25th year of funding in 2001, has been to prepare pediatricians for careers in academic medicine and biomedical research. In the current application, we week to expand the trainee population to include Ph.D.-trained scientists and pre-doctoral candidates as well.
Specific aims i nclude (1) the provision of research training opportunities in a wide variety of areas including hemoglobinopathies, megakarocytes and platelets, immunohematology, stem cell development, molecular diagnostic techniques, molecular oncology, molecular basis of hemostasis and thrombosis and gene therapy; (2) the opportunity for structured course work in cell and molecular biology, immunology, biochemistry, gene transfer biostatistics and research design, and epidemiology; (3) careful monitoring of the progress of individual trainees and the overall success of the training program; and (4) an emphasis on skills and accomplishments critical for successful academic careers such as preparation of manuscripts, presentations at seminars and national meetings, and submission of grant applications. The training faculty consists of a closely knit group of 15 scientists who have strong records as mentors and productive investigators, who have competed successfully for NIH and other federal funding, and who have interacted for many years in training, and research activities. Extended research training is offered in a fellowship program designed to develop independent, funded investigators. Training opportunities have been enhanced by the opening of a new, state-of-the-art research facility, the recruitment of new, outstanding faculty members, the renewal of the NIH Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, and the awarding of new program project grants in the area of gene transfer for hemophilia. The program has emphasized the research training of minority students at all levels in order to direct these individuals into biomedical careers. Despite a national trend away from pediatric subspecialty research training and toward clinical practice, the Pediatric Hematology Research Training Program continues to attract outstanding candidates and to prepare them for careers as biomedical investigators in academic institutions.
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