This renewal application requests continued support for the predoctoral/short-term training program in """"""""Cell signaling and lung pathobiology"""""""" based in the Center for Lung Biology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. As the predoctoral component of our training program matured through the first cycle of funding (2004-2009), we added short-term training in the second cycle (2009-2014) to support summer research experiences. Given our success with training, in this renewal application we request continued support for both predoctoral trainees (6 slots) and medical student trainees in short term summer research (4 slots). Research areas for training include mechanisms underlying pulmonary vasoconstriction and vascular remodeling in pulmonary hypertension, vascular and airway smooth muscle biology, regulation of lung endothelial barrier function, acute lung injury, mitochondrial function and signaling in oxidant stress, and involvement of ion channels in airway epithelium and vascular endothelium function. Our program, which continues to be one of only three in the southern US providing predoctoral training in lung research, will be co- directed by Drs. Mary Townsley and Troy Stevens, in consultation with an Internal Advisory Committee and annual review by distinguished External Advisors. The overall construct of the training program is based upon the strong emphasis by NIH and other national science leadership groups on broad, interdisciplinary training. The infrastructure for our predoctoral training program is provided by an interdisciplinary core curriculum in the Basic Medical Sciences Ph.D. program. Predoctoral trainees will be supported by the T32 for 2-3 years. These trainees commit to the lung biology track, identify a mentor from among the program faculty and complete a rigorous didactic advanced curriculum in signaling, biostatistics/experimental design, and lung biology/pathobiology. In addition to formal academic coursework, predoctoral trainees will participate in seminars and the Research-in-Progress journal club, as well as outstanding career survival skills training organized by the Center for Lung Biology. Short-term trainees enter a long-standing well-organized summer research program for medical students. These trainees will complete a 10-week research project focused on lung biology/pathobiology with one of the program faculty. Summer training includes a required seminar series. Our training program benefits from the research and mentoring expertise of 25 well-funded, highly collaborative and nationally-recognized faculty from five departments in the College of Medicine, all affiliated with the Center for Lung Biology. Our goal is to provide a vibrant training environment that prepares trainees for subsequent careers in academic, industry and/or government biomedical research venues.

Public Health Relevance

Lung infection and disease remain common causes of death, yet mechanisms and therapies remain less than optimal. These observations support the need for continued training of research investigators who can bring expertise to these problems. The primary goal of our T32 training program in Cell Signaling and Lung Pathobiology is to provide an outstanding predoctoral training experience that prepares individuals to contribute to such a workforce through careers in academic, industry and/or government biomedical research venues.

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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Colombini-Hatch, Sandra
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University of South Alabama
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United States
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