Cardiovascular disease remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality. To lessen this burden, advances in basic and translational research in cardiology leading to new preventive and treatment strategies is imperative. This is a competitive renewal of the Molecular and Cellular Cardiology Training Program (MCCTP) at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM), which is focused on post-doctoral investigators. Through this program, graduating trainees will be strongly positioned to advance our understanding of the cardiovascular system and to develop new treatment modalities for cardiovascular diseases. The MCCTP is based on MSSM's campus and within its translational research institutes, providing trainees with access to state-of-the- art research and core facilities. Training positions will be available for both physician-scientists and Ph.D. post- doctoral fellows. For the selection of the physician-scientist trainees, priority will be given to those applying to clinical cardiology fellowships at the MSSM and who agree to spend a minimum of three years full-time in the laboratory (optimally 4-5 years). For Ph.D. post-doctoral fellows, candidates will be selected based on outstanding research track records and a demonstrated commitment to cardiovascular research. The goal is to prepare all trainees to establish an independent laboratory at the end of their training. Strengths of the MCCTP include a dedicated faculty and philosophy to develop competent cardiovascular investigators. The faculty is balanced by highly collaborative senior scientists with established track records in cardiovascular research and in post-doctoral training with more junior investigators recruited as part of a major institution-wide expansion of translational research. Laboratory-based training is focused in seven thematic areas central to translational cardiovascular research: vascular biology and imaging, myocardial disease and heart failure, genetics and development, electrophysiology, metabolic diseases and diabetes, stem cell and gene therapies, and systems biology. In addition to laboratory research, trainees will participate in a weekly cardiovascular research seminar and a scientific writing and presentation course offered through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Depending on prior academic experience, trainees may participate in the Graduate School Core Curriculum and the activities of relevant graduate programs. This program consists of lectures, journal clubs and problem- solving conferences. A committee comprised of the preceptor, a program director and two members of the program faculty will monitor trainee progress. Emphasis will be placed on specific metrics for development as an independent investigator: continued productivity on a hypothesis-driven research project, publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals and crafting of applications for extramural support. Applicants will participate in a highly successful program for creating postdoctoral fellowship and K award applications. The training program will be evaluated by an internal advisory board and external advisory committee using trainee progress and feedback, recruitment success, extramural funding, and career paths of former trainees as benchmarks.
This training program seeks to train physician-scientist and scientist post-doctoral fellows in molecular and cellular cardiology. If successful, our graduates will be positioned to advance our understanding of cardiovascular biology and to develop novel therapeutic approaches for various cardiovascular disorders.
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