Our training program in pulmonary disease provides comprehensive research training for individuals with a serious commitment to a career in lung biology and biomedical research, particularly as it interfaces with clinical pulmonary medicine. Lung diseases comprise a major source of excess morbidity and mortality worldwide, so our primary premise is that progress toward improved understanding of the pathobiology of these diseases is required to make progress toward treatment and prevention. The program has a long history (30 years) of training numerous physicians and scientists who have subscribed to this mission, and have become leaders in academic pulmonary and critical care medicine. Although the program is under new titular leadership, the leaders are not new to the program having received their training in it. We plan to maintain the previous scientific and training success, while adapting the next generation of researchers to the constantly changing state-of-the-art of basic and translational science. Recent changes have included expanded resources (recruitment of new faculty members, and increased laboratory space) and the creation of a new Lung Research Center. This has allowed us to broaden the scope of research questions related to lung biology, and attack the problems at the most basic and translational levels incorporating new core resources. We have also enhanced our didactic program and further solidified program organization for oversight and mentoring of trainees. We identify trainees with a demonstrated interest in a research career, help them locate a training environment to pursue a problem of interest and in which creative and rigorous thinking combined with state-of-the-art technology is being used to pursue the problem, and provide them with the tools and mind- set to attack related problems in the future. Finally, we provide a prolonged period of support so that trainees are prepared to ultimately become productive independent investigators, and future leaders in academic pulmonary and critical care medicine. Of the 43 trainees enrolled in the program over the last decade, 40 (93%) remain in academic medicine and research, which includes 3 trainees who are performing clinical research in industry. Only 3 trainees in the past decade are now in private practice. These T32 trainees obtained 33 grant awards consisting of 16 NIH mentorship awards (13 K awards and 3 F32 NRSA), 7 independent R-awards, 2 core leaders for 2 separate P01s, 1 site PI for the Framingham Heart Study, 1 site PI for a R01, 1 Site PI for a U10, 3 Parker B. Francis awards, and 2 foundation awards (Harvard Catalyst KL2, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation). In addition, our T32 appointed trainees have published 331 papers during this interval with 211 of those articles published with their training grant mentors as co-authors. The new Program Director of this training program will continue to work with the utmost enthusiasm and energy to ensure that the trainees will continue to excel and contribute significantly to the academic pulmonary community.
This training program in pulmonary disease provides comprehensive research training for individuals with a serious commitment to a career in biomedical research focused on lung disease. Our primary goals are to train the next generation of physician-scientists and scientists to become independent researchers in academic medicine, better understand the pathogenesis of lung disease and identify new therapeutic modalities for lung disease.
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