This application is a competitive renewal of our long-standing Cardiovascular Research (CVR) Training Program. As a top 20 public Research I University, the University of Arizona (UA) has a proven track record of mentoring, research and collaborations across traditional departmental, college and institutional boundaries. In the last 3 years, the UA has seen an unprecedented focus on heart, vascular and lung research ? bringing numerous new faculty to this renewal application, substantive key improvements in infrastructure, and opportunities for our trainees to gain true translational experiences. The current application continues the tradition of developing young investigators for successful biomedical careers via multidisciplinary training at the pre- and postdoctoral levels. Forty-four faculty with well-funded collaborative research programs provide strength in 3 broad areas: 1) Molecular Basis of Cardiac Function, 2) Signaling in Vascular and Pulmonary Diseases, and 3) Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Diseases ? Molecules to Treatments. Molecular, cellular, and systems approaches are complemented by computational/modeling, proteomics/metabolomics/genomics, biophysical, nanotech and advanced imaging approaches. Extensive support from the UA, state-of-the-art core facilities, and opportunities for underrepresented minority researchers (e.g., UA is top of all Research I institutions for URMs in graduate school) rounds out a unique and outstanding research environment for training future leaders in Cardiovascular Biomedical Research. The CVR program is adaptable to the specific needs and interests of each trainee. Predoctoral trainees receive a broad background in biomedical sciences as well as exposure to interdisciplinary research, multiple experimental approaches, and practical and ethical aspects of careers in science. Predoctoral candidates also develop presentation and intrapersonal skills through an active student forum, journal clubs, MD/PhD colloquium and a ?meet the speaker? seminar program. The postdoctoral training plan ensures that trainees foster a comprehensive path towards independence by expanding their research focus, learning new state-of-the-art techniques and career skills particularly in grant/manuscript preparation. All trainees attend national and international meetings and participate in symposia featuring the trainees' research. The maturation of the CVR Program incorporates a robust training plan to integrate predoctoral, postdoctoral, MD/PhD and clinical trainees to align with the NIH mission of T32 translational research training. Translational experiences are enhanced via active participation in weekly clinical (Cardiology or Pulmonary Fellow) conferences. The newly developed Arizona Institute for Clinical and Translational Science together with the new infusion of resources and projects via our NIH Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program, offers all trainees unique opportunities to integrate with clinical medicine. 92% of the 208 trainees supported by this program over 40 years remain engaged in research related positions, a positive indicator of our CVR training program. We again request support for 7 predoctoral and 4 postdoctoral trainees.
Cardiovascular diseases continue to be the major cause of morbidity and mortality in our country, reflecting the complex interactions of lifestyle choices, environment and genetic factors that modify the integrated function of proteins, cells, organs and organ systems and thereby alter disease susceptibility. Continued progress in precision diagnosis, treatment and prevention strategies for heart, vascular and lung diseases requires a mechanistic understanding of the cardiovascular system as it relates to health and disease. The CVR Training Program is critically positioned to facilitate this progress by bringing together faculty committed to understanding these mechanisms through interdisciplinary, collaborative study and to train and mentor the next generation of researchers.
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