The Training Program in Lung Biology and Translational Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) provides multidisciplinary training in a stimulating and collaborative environment that nurtures the development of highly competent and innovative biomedical research scientists. This Program, initiated in 2010 to train M.D. or Ph.D. postdoctoral fellows in lung-related research, is currentl in its 4th year with a current allocation of 5 trainees (2-3-4-5-5, for years 1-5). In the first 3. years of the Program, we have graduated three trainees, all in academic research positions, two of the three are in full-time academic research faculty positions and the third receiving advanced post-doctoral training at another institution; with five additional trainees currently in the Progrm. The multidisciplinary and translational approach to the proposed training has been highly successful, and is highlighted by a diverse and interactive group of thirty faculty mentors who hold primary appointments in eight UAB Departments (4 - basic science; 4 - clinical). This includes the successful transition of junior mentors to the regular faculty mentoring pool. The faculty mentors are grouped into three thematic areas based on scientific expertise: (1) immunology-microbiology; (2) cell biology-tissue repair; (3) translational sciences. Translational research in statistical genetics, computational biology, biomarker discovery, and drug discovery/development and clinical trials (group 3) will facilitate the clinical translation of basc science research (groups 1 and 2). Based on the existing expertise and ongoing research efforts at UAB, training will focus on the manifestations, diagnosis, risk/prognostic stratificatio, mechanisms, prevention, and treatment of lung diseases, primarily acute lung injury (ALI), cystic fibrosis (CF), asthma, chronic obstructive lung diseases (COPD), and interstitial lung diseases (ILD). Training programs will be highly individualized and tailored to maximize success of each trainee with the creation of individual development plans (IDPs). In addition to the research projects that will be conducted in the mentor's laboratory, training will encompass a highly structured didactic program that includes weekly teaching conferences in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, a survival skills curriculum (in collaboration with the UAB Office of Postdoctoral Education) and a Research Core Curriculum that includes emerging themes such as cellular plasticity, drug discovery/development, big data, computational biology, and personalized medicine. Formal instruction will include the responsible and ethical conduct of research. A priority in the next phase of this Program is the recruitment/retention of underrepresented minorities, and maintaining the current high-rate of trainee retention in academic biomedical research careers.

Public Health Relevance

This Training Program in Lung Biology and Translational Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is designed to train the next generation of biomedical scientists and physician-scientists with the application of innovative techniques/tools and approaches to address emerging public health concerns related to the respiratory system.

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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Kalantari, Roya
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University of Alabama Birmingham
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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