The Translational Post-doctoral Training in Neurodevelopment (TPND) Program at Boston Children's Hospital is designed to provide promising post-doctoral neuroscience investigators (MD, PhD or MD/PhD) with advanced training in essential translational topics ranging from preclinical considerations through implementation of clinical trials for individuals with a range neurodevelopmental disorders. Large numbers of children, adolescents, and adults are affected by neurodevelopmental disorders that begin early in life, are rooted in aberrant brain circuitry, and have profound short- and long-term consequences on critical domains of development, cognition, social interaction, and behavioral regulation; yet most available medical and psychological treatments have had limited impact on the course of neurodevelopmental disorders. We propose to build on the significant strengths of the Translational Neuroscience Center (TNC) and the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School to provide trainees with research experiences ranging from pre-clinical and cognitive neuroscience labs through clinical trial involvement in neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, a key premise of this program is that effective research training in the field of translational neuroscience requires both mentors with expertise in areas across the continuum of translational research with neurodevelopmental disorders and ongoing programs to support the trainees to conduct innovative, high impact translational research. The 17 faculty mentors will involve trainees over a 2 year period (2 new entrants per year) with a range of state of the art methods in translational neurodevelopmental science that reflect core areas of the TNC program including basic science and translational methods as well as application to clinical populations in therapeutic trials for neurodevelopmental disorders. This research experience will be supplemented with both didactic and clinical immersion experiences designed to provide trainees with the skills needed to be successful independent investigators in this critical and emerging field. Ultimately this research experience will yield treatments that have an impact on the field by reducing the burdens and costs of care and costs to society that is now associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, the TPND will develop models of interdisciplinary research training for promising young scientists that will have a transformative impact on the field.
Neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Intellectual Disability are estimated to impact ~ 1 in 6 children in the United States. Unfortunately, currently available treatments have only limited impact on short and long term outcomes for most NDDs ? highlighting the immense unmet medical need in this area. The Translational Post-doctoral Training in Neurodevelopment (TPND) Program at Boston Children's Hospital will train post-doctoral neuroscience investigators (MD, PhD or MD/PhD) to develop and implement new medical and behavioral treatments for a range of neurodevelopmental disorders impacting children and their families.