This is an application for the competitive renewal of an Institutional Training Grant in Neural Injury and Plasticity (NIP). We request support for 4 advanced predoctoral students who will be trained in research on neural injury and plasticity by faculty participating in the Center for Neural Injury and Recovery (CNIR) at Georgetown University. The purpose of this training program is to prepare scientists to investigate fundamental mechanisms of neural injury, by trauma, stroke or neurodegenerative processes and to understand basic mechanisms of neural plasticity that may be functionally beneficial to the repair processes after neural injury. Our goal is to train researchers who will be capable of and committed to the basic science component of developing novel and effective treatment strategies to reduce the functional impairments that result from neural injury. An experienced and well-funded group of 20 faculty members with a wide range of research interests and expertise in neural injury and plasticity will participate in the Ph.D. training program. Most students will enter graduate school through the Georgetown University Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience (IPN). In the first two years they will take course work and rotate through the laboratories of potential mentors. Those interested in the NIP Program will take one or more specifically relevant courses and begin to participate in the NIP Journal Club. In the second year, students will formally apply to the NIP Training Program with the outline of a thesis research proposal approved by a potential mentor or co-mentors from the NIP Training Faculty. As NIP Trainees they will participate in NIP Specific Training which includes: clinical experience with an outstanding group of clinician-scientists, to provide basic scientists with an appreciation of the experiences of patients and clinicians dealing with neural injury and plasticity; the weekly NIP Journal Club and extended integrative reasoning and statistical literacy training; professional development training (i.e., Elevator pitches, grant writing and presentation skills, effective communication skills) as well as monthly meetings focused on in-depth discussions of disorders specific to neural injury and plasticity. Trainees will report results from their research in yearly student seminars, presentations at national meetings, and as publications in peer-reviewed journals. With respect to public health, this program will create a cadre of neuroscientists trained for research and/or management of research programs, through which new and more effective treatments for acute and degenerative disorders of the nervous system can develop.

Public Health Relevance

This research training program is focused on the scientific and professional development of advanced predoctoral thesis students in the area of neural injury and responses to injury. With respect to public health, this program will create a cadre of neuroscientists trained for research and/or management of research programs, through which new and more effective treatments for acute and degenerative disorders of the nervous system can be implemented.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZNS1)
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Weigand, Letitia Alexis
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Georgetown University
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