This is a competitive renewal for a multidisciplinary CardioVascular Surgery Training Program (CVSTP) that is currently in its 20th year. The number of cardiovascular surgeons conducting research is diminishing, and there is a need to provide quality research training for aspiring academic cardiovascular surgeons. Thus, the goal of the CVSTP is to provide surgery residents with training in basic, translational or clinical research to foster their development into independent surgeon-scientists. The Department of Surgery, together with the Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center and other departments within the School of Medicine, propose to continue and enhance a rigorous and successful research training program in the disciplines of vascular or end-organ function following transplantation or surgery. NIH support is requested for six MD postdocs (surgery residents) per year, each for a 2-year period. Trainees will choose between a basic research track or a clinical research track, which provide clear, defined options available to meet their interests and training needs. Administratively, the program will be led by PD team comprised of a senior surgeon-scientist and a senior basic scientist. Program oversight will be provided by a Steering Committee (for overall program function), individual Mentoring Committees (function like a thesis committee for each trainee), and an External Advisory Board. The program is composed of four areas: 1) A mentor-guided research experience is at the heart of the program where trainees work on a broad range of basic or clinical research topics in a collaborative atmosphere. Trainees learn to use a variety of approaches to rigorously test hypotheses. 2) Didactic training is provided in life skills, responsible conduct of research, epidemiology and vascular biology. Trainees in the basic research track can pursue a Certificate in Public Health Sciences or a PhD degree. Trainees in the clinical research track can matriculate in either a Master of Public Health (MPH) or a Master of Science in Clinical Research (MS-CR) program. 3) Required activities for trainees include a research seminar series, presentations at monthly research-in-progress meetings, an annual Department of Surgery ?Resident Research Day?, presentations at national conferences, and publications. 4) Evaluation of trainee progress, essential to meet the evolving needs of future trainees, will be performed using a multi-layered mechanism, including individual development plans, to ensure the success of the training experience. Trainees will also evaluate both mentors and the CVSTP. Strengths of the program include: a) a team of 21 experienced, multidisciplinary faculty preceptors with extramural funding, b) strong collaborative links among faculty conducting basic and/or clinical research in thoracic and cardiovascular medicine, c) comprehensive course offerings and degree options, and d) a wide variety of research opportunities available to trainees such as the Surgery Innovation Center and data sciences. Our CVSTP aims to continue to produce the next generation of highly trained academic cardiovascular surgeon-scientists devoted to understanding the pathogenesis and treatment of cardiovascular injury and disease.

Public Health Relevance

The number of cardiovascular surgeons conducting research is diminishing, and a vital need exists to provide quality research training for aspiring academic cardiovascular surgeons. This formal training program addresses this shortage by providing for collaboration between basic scientists and clinical faculty to train surgery residents in basic, translational or clinical research to produce the next generation of highly trained cardiothoracic surgeon-scientists devoted to understanding the pathogenesis and treatment of cardiovascular injury and disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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NHLBI Institutional Training Mechanism Review Committee (NITM)
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Huang, Li-Shin
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University of Virginia
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United States
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