The University of Florida, College of Medicine has a long tradition and record of accomplishments in the training of medical students for careers in academic medicine and research. This application is a resubmission of a competitive renewal of a T35 Short-Term Training for Medical Students in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research that was first awarded to the School in 1981 and now in its 30th year. The purpose of the training grant is to provide intensive, short-term (2.5 month) training in research for twenty 1st year medical students (MS1) whose projects focus on heart, lung, and blood topics that will be conducted under the guidance of faculty mentors who have a proven record of outstanding research and training of pre-doctoral and post- doctoral medical and graduate students. Beginning in the Fall of 2013 with the entering Class of 2017, the core medical curriculum will include the Discovery Pathways Program (DPP), which will extend across all four years of medical training. All 135 medical students in the Class of 2017 will select a research and discovery (R&D) project and faculty mentor from the hundreds of projects grouped within one of the six Discovery Tracks, and they will initiate their R&D projects in the 10-weeks of the summer following completion of the Spring semester courses. This broad range of potential research topics is made possible because of the diversity of the research areas of the more than 800 faculty members of the College of Medicine, including the 42 T35 Program Faculty. The participation of all MS1s in the DPP will ensure an even larger pool of quality R&D projects from which the 20 MS1s will be selected to receive the T35 NHLBI scholarships (2 of the 20 scholarships will be funded by the College of Medicine). The DPP curriculum during the first year includes instruction in fundamentals of R&D, including tools for literature surveys, generating hypothesis driven questions, biomedical statistics, scientific report writing, interpreting evidenced based medicine guidelines, and responsible conduct of research. The T35 students will receive additional enrichment in R&D training through weekly T35 student group meetings, peer presentations of research projects, extensive training in preparing abstracts, posters and grant proposals, attending special lectures and participating in activities with key personnel from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. During the 2nd and 3rd years of medical classes, the T35 students and their classmates will continue meeting with their faculty mentor and advancing their research projects through various mechanisms including elective courses, seminars, research group meetings. During the 4th year, T35 students and their classmates will take two 4-week elective courses to complete their R&D projects and they will generate a capstone scholarly work product such as a research journal paper. Long term follow up of T35 trainees indicates the research experience gained by the T35 trainees has substantial impact on their research productivity and careers, and the DPP and the enriched T35 program will enhance that outcome.
The purpose of this T35 grant renewal is to provide intensive, short-term (2.5 months) research training for 20 selected pre-doctoral medical students in clinical and basic research projects that are relevant to cardiovascular and pulmonary pathologies. Research will be conducted under mentorship of faculty members who have a proven record of research and training of pre-doctoral and post-doctoral medical and graduate students. The program is designed to attract the most highly qualified University of Florida medical students into careers as physician-scientists in heart, lung, and blood areas.
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