Ion channels and transporter proteins are ubiquitous molecules that serve a variety of important physiological functions, provide targets for many types of pharmacological agents, and are encoded by genes that can be the basis for inherited diseases affecting the nervous system and other tissues. This proposal describes the continuation of a Training Program in Ion Channel and Transporter Biology that provides multidisciplinary research training for pre-doctoral and post-doctoral scientists. This highly focused training program involves 27 NIH-funded preceptors (aggregate funding ~ $19,336,000 direct costs/year) in 10 different academic departments or research centers at Vanderbilt University. All preceptors (22 tenured full or associate professors) have strong records of accomplishments in the ion channel and transporter field, and with a deep commitment to training students and post-doctoral fellows. In addition to the core group of training faculty, we have identified 7 junior investigators who are expected to develop into preceptors during the next funding period or who can partner with more senior faculty for joint training of students. The program began initially in 2001 with 19 faculty and successfully filled all funded positions with 10 pre-doctoral and 9 post-doctoral trainees since that time. Dr. Alfred L. George, Jr, M.D. will continue to serve as Program Director and is well qualified to provide leadership to this program. Dr. George has more than 16 years experience studying the structure, function and molecular genetics of voltage-gated ion channels. He is a former recipient of the Established Investigator Award of the American Heart Association, a former Lucille P. Markey Scholar in Biomedical Sciences, and 2002 recipient of the Javits Neuroscience Award from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. He will be assisted by an Oversight and Selection Committee composed of senior faculty deeply invested in training students in this area. Pre-doctoral students will be recruited from a national pool of applicants who apply for graduate studies in our Interdisciplinary Graduate Program. Post-doctoral trainees will be selected from the pool of applicants that apply to preceptor laboratories as well as physician-scientists applicants from various clinical training programs at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. A multi-faceted recruitment strategy will continue to attract highly qualified individuals from underrepresented minority groups. In addition to intensive research experiences, both pre-doctoral and post-doctoral trainees will have rigorous didactic course requirements as well as formal mentoring and career guidance. The goal of the training program is to develop scientists with strong commitments to academic biomedical research in the area of ion channel and transporter biology.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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NST-2 Subcommittee (NST)
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Korn, Stephen J
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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