This T32 renewal application from the University of Washington (UW) focuses on a critical and understudied area of research ? palliative care research for heart, lung, and blood diseases. Our aging population and advances in chronic disease management have combined to create an enormous need for improved palliative care research across diverse diseases. Heart, lung, and blood diseases encompass leading causes of death and disability in the US and represent areas where palliative care research lags behind compared to cancer. This application differs from other T32 programs by focusing on training in palliative care research for patients with heart, lung, and blood diseases. Because health disparities in palliative care have been well documented, this innovative training program also focuses on understanding and eliminating these disparities. This proposal capitalizes on the exceptional faculty and academic environment across multiple schools (Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Pharmacy, and Social Work) at the UW, and multiple departments within the UW School of Medicine. Dr. J. Randall Curtis, the founding program director, is a national leader in palliative care research and was a recipient of a K24 Award for mentoring from NHLBI for the full 10 years. He is also the Director of the UW Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence (PCCE) which supports this T32. With this renewal application, Dr. Curtis is adding two outstanding new program directors, both R01-funded leaders in palliative care research: Dr. Erin Kross, Director of Research Training for the Cambia PCCE, and Dr. Abby Rosenberg, Director of Pediatrics for the Cambia PCCE. We propose a rigorous research training program built on four core principles to prepare new researchers for independent careers: 1) Trainees must master a defined set of core content and research skills necessary to become independent yet collaborative investigators; 2) Structured research mentoring and academic career development are critical to retaining trainees in science careers; 3) Research projects must be tailored to each trainee and designed to be training vehicles that facilitate early academic productivity and success; 4) Training in palliative care research should provide real opportunities for interdisciplinary interactions and promote team-science. To continuously improve our program, we will assess the effectiveness of our methods for training and mentoring using well-defined metrics, and adjust our methods as necessary. We are requesting the same 4 post-doctoral training slots as our initial T32. This application represents an important opportunity to advance palliative care research concerning heart, lung, and blood diseases, to address key compelling questions in the 2016 NHLBI Strategic Vision, and to create a research workforce for the future.
This T32 program is designed to train post-doctoral trainees in palliative care research concerning patients with heart, lung, or blood diseases. The program stresses the conduct of clinically-relevant, patient-oriented research in an ethical and scientifically rigorous manner and has an on-going commitment to attract and train individuals from under-represented minorities. In this renewal application, we propose to build on our successful program with innovative strategies to maximize the impact and sustainability of palliative care research and to help address compelling questions identified in the 2016 NHLBI Strategic Vision.
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