The UAB Predoctoral Training Program in Lung Diseases grant (?The Program?) seeks to develop outstanding biomedical scientists for a career in pulmonary research. This begins at an early level of training, thus we have designed our program to focus on predoctoral trainees (n = 3 per year, each trainee having a 2 year training period). The Program is structured to provide didactic education, training and mentoring via three avenues: (1) specific graduate coursework on the (i) biology of lung diseases and (ii) respiratory physiology, (2) pairing of trainees with clinical mentors in addition to their research mentors and (3) weekly exposure to lung-specific basic, translational and clinical research and clinical medicine conferences. Training is further supported by numerous enrichment activities via the UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences and the UAB Graduate School as well as an annual scientific retreat. The Program has 24 primary research mentors divided into three broad areas of lung disease, (1) pneumonia and asthma, (2) COPD, CF and lung injury and (3) IPF, BPD and pulmonary hypertension, and spans five departments and both adult and pediatric Pulmonary Divisions. These primary mentors have been chosen on the basis of research productivity, significant grant support, collegiality and commitment to serve as predoctoral mentors. The Program is closely monitored by a Program Director and Associate Director, a Steering Committee, an Internal Advisory Committee and an External Advisory Committee (the latter two of which are predominantly comprised of current institutional training grant Program Directors). Additional requirements for each trainee include creating an individual development plan (IDP), participation in a Pulmonary Research Core Curriculum that includes emerging themes such as signal transduction, bioenergetics, ?big data? and computational biology and personalized medicine, and additional coursework on professional communication skills and team management. A clinical perspective will be stressed throughout the training period, which will be facilitated by a pulmonologist/clinical mentor (n = 20) who will serve on a trainee?s dissertation committee as well as provide clinical experiences. Finally, the Program has strong institutional support from UAB that includes financial support for program leadership and additional programmatic development. This Program will capitalize on the recent growth in lung research at UAB and foster high-level training experiences to develop the next generation of outstanding lung researchers.

Public Health Relevance

The UAB Predoctoral Training Program in Lung Diseases capitalizes on the recent growth in lung research at UAB and is designed to develop outstanding biomedical scientists for a career in pulmonary research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
NHLBI Institutional Training Mechanism Review Committee (NITM)
Program Officer
Tigno, Xenia
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Alabama Birmingham
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Shei, Ren-Jay; Peabody, Jacelyn E; Kaza, Niroop et al. (2018) The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) as a therapeutic target for cystic fibrosis. Curr Opin Pharmacol 43:152-165
Shei, Ren-Jay; Peabody, Jacelyn E; Rowe, Steven M (2018) Functional Anatomic Imaging of the Airway Surface. Ann Am Thorac Soc 15:S177-S183
Peabody, Jacelyn E; Shei, Ren-Jay; Bermingham, Brent M et al. (2018) Seeing cilia: imaging modalities for ciliary motion and clinical connections. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 314:L909-L921