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 will provide multidisciplinary research training for postdoctoral scientists. This highly focused training program involves 30 NIH-funded preceptors (aggregate funding >$31,500,000 direct costs/year) affiliated with 13 different academic departments and 10 research centers at Vanderbilt University with strong records of accomplishments in the ion channel and transporter field, and with a deep commitment to training postdoctoral fellows. This interdepartmental training program capitalizes on a nearly 20-year history of institutional and multidisciplinary strength in this research field. The program began initially in 2001 with only 19 faculty and has successfully filled all funded positions since that time. Although the training program originally included predoctoral training, the consensus of the participating faculty members was to focus the program on postdoctoral trainees to enable a more coherent training program and to expand the number of available postdoctoral positions. Postdoctoral trainees will be selected from the pool of applicants that apply to preceptor laboratories as well as by an annual recruitment event hosted by Vanderbilt University. A multi-faceted recruitment strategy will continue to attract highly qualified individuals from underrepresented groups. In addition to intensive research experiences, trainees will have didactic course requirements that include a focused course on grant writing, an innovative seminar series devoted to inspiring translational research, formal mentoring and career guidance. The high caliber of faculty mentors, the interdisciplinary nature of training opportunities, the strong institutional strengths combine to foster a unique environment suited to the goal of the training program, which is to develop scientists with strong commitments to academic biomedical research in the area of ion channel and transporter biology.
Ion channels and transporter proteins are important molecules that serve a variety of important cellular functions, provide targets for many types of drugs, and are involved in many acquired and inherited diseases affecting the nervous system and other organs. This proposal describes the continuation of a Training Program in Ion Channel and Transporter Biology that will provide multidisciplinary research training for scientists in this field.
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