The objective of the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) TL1 training program is to give pre- and postdoctoral fellows a unique experience in cutting-edge methodological and analytical approaches aimed at making them efficient in the complex arena of translational and precision medicine. This program?s affiliation to a basic research institute instead of a medical school gives it a unique position and strength by offering education in basic research, drug discovery and development, preclinical models, and mechanistic insights into diseases. With a strong emphasis on team science and the integration of attending physicians from Scripps Health in all projects, this program will produce leaders with the skills required to conduct transformative translational science. To date, this young program has trained only predoctoral fellows. All 8 who have graduated, publishing 31 papers in the process, have remained in science, and 6 students remain supported by the program. Based on this success, and after thorough analysis of what bottlenecks remain in the delivery of efficient translational research, we will implement a series of changes to enhance our program by carrying out 3 specific aims:
Specific Aim 1. Expand the current coursework to deliver cutting-edge clinical-translational research competencies, and enhance mentorship. This objective will be achieved by adding new courses aimed at addressing the most current scientific and medical issues. Mentorship will be reinforced by coordinating each project around monthly meetings with presentation of progress. The use of Individual Development Plans, already widely used at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) Graduate School, will be progressively implemented with the goal of improving efficiency and training.
Specific Aim 2. Expand the current TL1 program to provide the full representation of trainees necessary for successful clinical-translational projects. In addition to our successful predoctoral program, we will include a 3-year postdoctoral pathway to add translational competencies beyond PhD completion. To achieve this goal, the number of slots on the training grant will be increased to 9. Summer undergraduate research interns supported by the TSRI Graduate School will also be mentored within this program to add translational competencies at all levels of training. A more inclusive TL1 program will stimulate scientists at each level of development to pursue careers in translational clinical research.
Specific Aim 3. Increase diversity in our training program. Precision medicine cannot be achieved without an acute perception of diversity. Our efforts will be targeted at increasing the number of underrepresented students in our program by adding recruitment relationships with colleges and graduate schools serving these populations. Ongoing summer research internship programs with this philosophy have been highly successful at TSRI and STSI. In addition, we will amplify this necessary effort by establishing relationships with disease-specific advocate organizations. These changes and evolution of the program come at a remarkable time with two exciting developments at TSRI: the integration of the California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr) a drug-discovery and development institute that will allow training of TL1 students in that field, and the creation of a Scripps Research Biosciences College in 2018.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
Linked Training Award (TL1)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZTR1)
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Chang, Soju
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Scripps Research Institute
La Jolla
United States
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Sharma, Siddhartha; Gioia, Louis; Abe, Brian et al. (2018) Using single cell analysis for translational studies in immune mediated diseases: Opportunities and challenges. Mol Immunol 103:191-199
Jacob, Nicholas T; Miranda, Pedro O; Shirey, Ryan J et al. (2018) Synthetic molecules for disruption of the MYC protein-protein interface. Bioorg Med Chem 26:4234-4239