This is the third competing renewal application for Yale University's Vascular Research Postdoctoral T32. Of fellows who have completed training to date, 86% have obtained academic faculty positions and/or careers in science, and many have received independent grant support, strong indicators of program success. The continued goal is to provide laboratory and translational research training for highly qualified physician (M.D. and M.D./Ph.D.) and Ph.D. postdoctoral fellows in vascular biology, in preparation for careers as independent investigators in blood vessel biology- and medicine-related disciplines. Trainee selection will be based on a commitment to vascular biology and strong prior research experience or potential of same. Applications will be encouraged from clinical and basic science departments, with a nationwide competition for 7 yearly slots. Minority applicants will be specifically solicited through numerous avenues. 57% of the currently enrolled fellows are underrepresented minorities. The training will be mentor-based, also including advisory committees and didactic courses. The minimum duration of training will be 2 years. The Cardiovascular Medicine Division and Yale's Interdisciplinary Program in Vascular Biology and Therapeutics will be the foundations for the program. A key asset is Yale's interdisciplinary strength in vascular biology. Departmental affiliations for participating faculty include Cardiovascular Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Immunobiology, Pharmacology, Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology, Pathology, Genetics, Bioengineering, Physiology, Epidemiology and Public Health, and Cardiothoracic Surgery. This is a testimony to the wide spectrum of strong vascular biology laboratories at Yale and the program's institutional nature. Faculty were chosen based on impressive histories of mentorship, ongoing vascular research productivity, strong extramural support and commitment to serve as mentors within the program. Examples of research opportunities include: (1) molecular determinants and consequences of leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions; (2) molecular imaging of angiogenesis and vascular remodeling utilizing nuclear and MR imaging in animal models; (3) mapping and identification of genes that contribute to the development of vascular disease (arterio-venous malformation, coronary artery disease) in humans; (4) engineering of vascular biomaterials, and molecular determinants of healing responses post-implantation; and (5) generation of angiogenic gene regulators for use in clinical trials. This represents a wide range of disease-related vascular research, with key translational components. Trainee progress will be monitored by each mentor, the trainee's advisory committee and the Program Co-Directors. It is the expectation that we will train future national and international leaders in vascular research. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and a major cause of mortality world-wide. This program will provide important opportunities for individuals from multiple disciplines to eventually lead high impact efforts at reducing the incidence of, and improving outcomes in, cardiovascular disease.
The goal of this postdoctoral training program is to train future leaders in areas of vascular biology and cardiovascular research. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. As such, defining the causes and mechanisms of disease continues to be of great significance. This training program, through its mentoring of future leaders in cardiovascular research, will have an important impact on health in the U.S.
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