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 College of Medicine in 1981 and now in its 35th year. The purpose of the training grant is to provide intensive, short-term (2.5 month) training in research for 20 first 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 students and graduate students. As described in the Backgound section, the Class of 2021will follow the new medical curriculum inaugurated the Fall of 2013 that includes the Discovery Pathways Program (DPP). In the first semester, all MS1s take the required course ?Research and Discovery Foundations of Medicine? that includes instruction in fundamentals of R& D and includes tools for literature surveys, generating hypothesis driven questions, biomedical statistics, scientific report writing, interpreting evidenced based medicine guidelines, and responsible conduct of research. This required course prepares the students to enter the Medical Student Research Program (MSRP) and to participate in the T35 training grant program. All 142 medical students in the Class of 2021 will have the opportunity to select a research and discovery (R&D) project and faculty mentor from the hundreds of projects grouped within one of the seven 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 1,100 faculty members of the College of Medicine, including the 46 T35 Program Faculty. The students who are selected to participate in the T35 program 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 can 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 take two 4-week elective courses to complete any remaining parts of their R&D projects to 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 medical students who will conduct clinical, translational, and basic research projects that are relevant to the mission of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute with focus on cardiovascular and pulmonary topics. Research will be conducted under mentorship of faculty members from the colleges of medicine, engineering, veterinary medicine, and pharmacy 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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