This is a new application for a pre- and postdoctoral training program, the title and theme of which is Understanding Cardiovascular Disease Mechanisms. While this is a new T32 application, the cardiovascular training program at the University of Cincinnati and Children's Hospital has a renowned legacy due to 35 years of previous NIH T32 support under Dr. Arnold Schwartz (recently not renewed). The new leadership proposed here, together with a more focused and highly funded faculty wish to carry on this proud tradition of excellence in cardiovascular research and mentorship for another 35 years in Cincinnati. Our collective 19 faculty has placed 297 of their past trainees into academics over their careers, 154 of whom have run, or currently run independent research programs. The overall scientific emphasis of our training program will continue to build from a basic platform of cardiovascular physiology, cell biology, biochemistry and pharmacology, but will also incorporate the latest approaches in the post genomic era, as well as incorporating clinical and translational approaches. The cardiovascular environment at Cincinnati Children's and the University of Cincinnati is considered one of the very best in the country, with 19 NIH funded faculty (some 49 NIH grants amongst them as PI status), 166 collaborative papers published in 10 years, and the very latest technologies and approaches with outstanding core support. The leadership consists of the co-PIs Drs. Evangelia Kranias and Jeffery D. Molkentin, both of whom have a long standing track record of working closely together (15 years), as well as having excellent mentorship credentials. The Executive Committee (2 members), Internal Advisory Committee (4 members) and External Advisory Committee (3 members) are highly engaged cardiovascular researchers who will help ensure the quality of the training program. The current proposal requests funding for 3 pre- and 3 postdoctoral trainees. Predocs are selected by the Internal Advisory Committee from a wide pool arising from departmental graduate programs, while postdoctoral candidates are selected based on being accepted into a mentor's laboratory and then passing the screening process by the Internal Advisory Committee and co-PIs. The mentoring program and evaluation process for the program are highly structured and oversight occurs on many levels. Trainees and mentors are evaluated every 6 months. The proposed educational training curriculum is highly structured and state-of-the-art. Recruitment of minorities has also been successful in the past with our faculty, and it will remain a top priority.
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death and disability in the western world. The fundamental approach in understanding the nature of the disease and improving treatment is to elucidate the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms. This is the theme of our training program and our collective 19 faculty members have made this their life's work. The program will train the highest quality of young scientists in cardiovascular research, who will be the future leaders in developing better therapy and treatment for this devastating condition.
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