This is the second competitive renewal of a T32 training grant at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC), originally funded in 2003 (MH067533). The goal of the proposed program is to prepare MDs, PhDs and PharmDs interested in basic or clinical research for a career in translational research in schizophrenia related disorders. The MPRC, an Organized Research Center of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and division of the Department of Psychiatry, is a focused center for research on schizophrenia and related disorders, located on the grounds of the Spring Grove Hospital Center, a State of Maryland inpatient mental health facility located just outside Baltimore. Faculty at the MPRC have an integrated research program of clinical and neuroscience research involving neuroimaging, neurophysiology, biochemistry, rodent models, etiologic factors, symptoms, endophenotypes, neurocognition, domains of psychopathology and experimental therapeutics for specific pathologies associated with schizophrenia and related disorders. All faculty are successful with competitive research funding and the MPRC and the integrated and collaborative framework has supported NIMH P50 awards for over 25 years including a just completed CIDAR and just funded Conte centers. The MPRC is characterized by frequent interaction and collaboration among preclinical and clinical investigators. This background prepared faculty at MPRC to take an active role in supporting NIMH workshops developing behavioral constructs for the RDoC initiative. Scientific opportunities and collaborations are enriched with extensive involvement with other components of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and School of Pharmacy at the nearby University of Maryland Baltimore. Postdoctoral training offered under this T32 fellowship has a primary focus on both basic neuroscience and clinical investigations of schizophrenia and related disorders. All trainees are educated on the translational perspective of the MPRC and provided mentors and didactic training in both clinical and neuroscience. This renewal for a competitive five- year renewal application proposes to continue funding 5 positions a year with each a fellowship lasting for 2-3 years. This T32 program is successful in terms of recruiting and training post-doctoral fellows for a scientific career including clinician scientists. Graduates of the program lead productive, successful research-intensive careers. Details on graduates and the present fellows are provided in the progress report.

Public Health Relevance

Complex clinical syndromes such as schizophrenia require a multidisciplinary research workforce, accustomed to working in integrated teams and able to translate basic neuroscience into clinical relevance. This proposal seeks to increase the number of translational scientists studying severe mental illness by mentoring and educating clinical and preclinical post-doctoral fellows who plan to pursue independent or research-intensive careers related to serious mental disorders. The MPRC prepares scientists for the diversity of psychopathology in mental illness including translational science in the RDoC framework.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1)
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Chavez, Mark
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University of Maryland Baltimore
Schools of Medicine
United States
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