This competing renewal HL07954 Multidisciplinary Training in Cardiovascular Biology is the principal NIH training grant integrating research between Penn's Schools of Medicine (SOM), Engineering (SEAS) and Arts and Sciences (SAS). We request continuing support of 6 pre- and 6 postdoctoral trainees in multidisciplinary cardiovascular pathophysiology with emphasis on integrated biomedicine - physical/ quantitative/ engineering sciences. Thirty two faculty mentors are distributed across Penn's SOM, Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, SEAS, and SAS (Physics; Math) departments, Institutes and Centers. The proposal addresses NHLBI multidisciplinary training priorities in 5 key areas by ensuring (i) training breadth and depth through multidisciplinary cardiovascular research integrated across a full spectrum of scales from the molecular to in vivo, (ii) Addition o faculty to ensure training in new and evolving research areas including the development of new courses, (iii) A formalized individual mentorship plan required of each Mentor/ Trainee pairing, (iv) Workforce retention to academic or science-based private-sector positions (for Postdocs), and postdoctoral positions (for Predocs) with attention to diversity, and (v) A translational infrastructure that embraces basic translational potential scientists and Clinical Fellow representation. To sustain a vigorous program, Predocs and Postdocs will receive two and three years support respectively. Trainees are selected in competitive review by an inter-School Steering Committee representative of the interdisciplinary nature of the program. Trainees are selected on the basis of academic record, research potential, and commitment to interdisciplinary cardiovascular biology. There is internal and external advisory oversight and annual review of the program. PhD and/or MD Postdoctoral trainees develop significant independence during their training period. Both group and individual mentorship in grant-writing and career development are provided. Predoctoral trainees (including MD-PhD students) are registered in one of the graduate groups of the Biomedical Graduate Group in the SOM or in select Graduate Groups of SEAS (Bioengineering, Chemical/Biomolecular Engineering, or Materials Science Engineering) or SAS (Physics, Math). They complete courses in cardiovascular-related engineering as part of, or in addition to, individual graduate group requirements. Participation in an Interdisciplinary Seminar Series and a biweekly Interdisciplinary Chalk Talk series is required, as is continuous RCR training. Research Symposia tailored to the training program provide additional presentation opportunities. 10-year program metrics: (36 predocs; 34 postdocs). Of 26 Predocs who have graduated (mean 5.2 yrs) 10 are in postdoctoral training, and 16 are in faculty positions (8) or science jobs (8). The balance (10) are still in training. Of 24 Postdocs who have completed support, 17 (71%) were recruited to academic positions, 6 (25%) to private sector science-related jobs, and one is on family leave. The balance (10) are still in training. Trainees authored 323 peer-reviewed papers (14,560 citations to date).

Public Health Relevance

Cardiovascular diseases remain the dominant cause of morbidity and mortality in the US, and vascular systems impact the health of every organ system. Biomedical research is increasingly driven by computational, engineering, and systems biology approaches to the study of fundamental mechanisms of tissue function/dysfunction to target translational objectives. The need for pre-doctoral and postdoctoral cardiovascular research training integrated across the Medical, Engineering and Physical Sciences Schools to address multidisciplinary objectives is addressed in this training grant.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Huang, Li-Shin
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University of Pennsylvania
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