This proposal is for competitive renewal of a T32 in Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine research training at the Brown University Centers of Behavioral and Preventive Medicine (CBPM) and The Miriam Hospital. The program goal is to train a total of 13 postdoctoral fellows for two year periods to conduct research to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by changing the most prominent lifestyle risk factors, including obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking. During our first four years of funding, we were extremely successful in recruiting 10 outstanding fellows and developing their independently funded scientific careers. All 5 graduates now hold faculty appointments and 4 of the 5 have their own NIH funding. The T32 develops researchers who advance the basic science understanding of the etiology of behaviors associated with CVD and who develop and disseminate effective interventions targeting these behaviors to prevent or treat CVD. Increasingly, our program focuses on translational research in which findings in basic science (e.g., genetics and neuroimaging) are used to inform behavioral interventions and dissemination research in which efficacious interventions are tested in community settings and with high risk populations. These approaches require multidisciplinary approaches which are facilitated by the ongoing collaborations between the CBPM and the Brown Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, the Department of Medicine and the Program in Public Health. There are large numbers of federally funded trials that provide outstanding research training opportunities for our fellows including projects on the effects of behavior change on CVD endpoints, studies of genetic and environmental contributions to health and CVD, and projects using innovative channels (e.g., Internet and text-messaging) and sites of delivery (e.g., YMCAs). We have retained and augmented our successful training model for this cycle, with Program Director Rena Wing, PhD, Associate Director Bess Marcus, PhD, and Administrative Director Justin Nash, PhD, continuing in their leadership capacity. Alfred Buxton, MD (Director of Cardiology), Jeanne McCaffery, PhD, and Anthony Spirito, PhD join the Training Committee. Training is highly individualized with all fellows developing core competencies in areas such as CVD-related behavioral research and specialized competencies in their specific areas of research. Formal didactics and mentored research experiences are combined to develop competencies. Mentoring teams are headed by a senior behavioral scientist and complemented with a physician or public health scientist mentor and a junior faculty mentor. Trainee progress in achieving training objectives is formally evaluated. Given our initial success and our ability to recruit highly competitive candidates, provide extensive research and training opportunities, provide outstanding mentors with established track records, and produce funded researchers and junior faculty members, we feel uniquely qualified to continue our T32 research training in behavior change and CVD.
. Lifestyle factors, including obesity, physical inactivity and smoking, account for more than 50% of the burden of chronic disease morbidity and mortality. This T32 from the Centers of Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at Brown University and The Miriam Hospital trains postdoctoral fellows to become researchers to address behavioral problems related to cardiovascular disease.
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