The Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Vanderbilt has a long and outstanding track record of training cardiovascular scientists in a broad range of disciplines from molecular biophysics and developmental biology to outcomes research. In this competing renewal application, we propose to train 2 pre-doctoral and 5 post- doctoral trainees annually. Pre-doctoral students are identified during the process of application and recruitment to the Integrated Graduate Program at Vanderbilt. They will receive their doctoral degrees from one of several disciplines such as Cell and Developmental Biology, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, and Pharmacology. Post-doctoral trainees are physician-scientists recruited directly from the Department of Medicine physician-scientist training pathway or from one of the general or advanced cardiology fellowships. In the period since the previous renewal of this award, the institution has continued to invest heavily in the cardiovascular research programs, with recruitment of new faculty and the establishment of new laboratories and research centers. In just the past 2 years, the division has added 11 physician-scientists, including 4 who are alumni of this T32 program. Among these recruitments are senior investigators who are leaders in cardiovascular research and education. NIH support in the division has grown by 55% in the past 18 months. A new center for translational and clinical research in cardiology (VTRACC) was established in 2013, and major new center grants were obtained from PCORI (Mid-South CDRN) and the American Heart Association (Strategically Focused Prevention Research Network). In 2012, Vanderbilt was selected as the national coordinating center of the NIH national CTSA network. Collectively, these developments offer tremendous new opportunities for our cardiovascular research trainees. We have a growing and increasingly competitive applicant pool for training positions here at Vanderbilt. Simultaneously, we have increased diversity in the program over the last cycle, through institutional initiatives and via our allianc with Meharry Medical College and the Association of Black Cardiologists. In the last cycle, 29% of our T32 trainees were from under-represented minority groups. Our trainees publish, move into faculty positions, and attain grant support, all evidence of the success of the program. Through the continuation of this training program, Vanderbilt is poised to make a significant impact on the training of cardiovascular scientists.
We are training the next generation of scientists with expertise in heart and vascular disease. These trainees will make discoveries during and after their training that will improve our understanding of heart and vascular disease and lead to new treatments.
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