The Career Enhancement Core (CEC) will contribute to training the next generation of scientists and clinician- scientists as leaders in the fields of women's health and sex differences in medicine. They will be empowered to contribute to understanding sex-dependent vulnerabilities to major psychiatric and associated medical disorders. Our SCORE focuses on understanding sex differences in major depression and associated autonomic physiology and translation of this knowledge into the development of sex-dependent therapeutics. Defining the impact of gender in addition to sex, will prepare our participants to think about translation of scientific findings to policy and advocacy. Training the next generation as to the importance of sex and gender in understanding medicine and healthcare will be critical in realizing the national strategic plan to develop precision or personalized medicine. The SCORE faculty have a long history of training people to think about sex and gender in medicine. We will integrate the training infrastructures of the SCORE partners focused on women's health and sex differences in diseases to provide new opportunities, expand resources, add new faculty, and educate trainees with regard to new technologies and approaches. The CEC will capitalize on a long tradition of interdisciplinary research collaborations on sex differences and women's health among investigators across these institutions, including a previous ORWH P50 SCOR that focused on sex differences in major depression across HMS, CSU, and the University of Arizona. We have made available to our mentees a vast array of biomedical resources across institutions that address scientific questions essential to improving women's health. To enhance the careers of SCORE trainees, the CEC will specifically: 1) Integrate levels of training and thought about etiologic mechanisms at basic and clinical levels for sex differences, and for gender and health disparities at the policy level. 2) Mentor trainees from a team perspective that exposes them to different levels of analysis from mentors with complementary expertise. 3) Provide access to material and faculty resources that will enhance the success of the initial group of candidates. The CEC infrastructure will provide a model that can be generalized to others in the future, playing a convening/integrative role in training the next generation across fields, methodologies and institutions. We are also committed to training a diverse biomedical workforce, as exemplified by the first set of participants and investigators included in this SCORE. Two junior faculty will serve as initial models for implementing this CEC based on their interests in sex differences in immune pathways in the brain, fetal programming and offspring brain development, and impact of pregnancy complications on offspring brain and cardiac function. Finally, we will (4) provide seed funding to supplement work with the preclinical studies and ultimately translate to the human studies. In summary, this core will create individually-tailored curricula that will take advantage of mentorship strengths across institutions and foster the professional skills of a next generation of rising stars for women's health research.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed Career Enhancement Core (CEC) will train the next generation of scientists in sex differences research as relevant to major depression. It will provide individually-tailored support to individuals with a range of previous training and experience, through a combination of a structured didactic curriculum, mentored research project, and formal career development training. Under the supervision of an accomplished, multidisciplinary faculty and with access to the latest methods in translational research, our trainees will be well prepared to become leaders in the field of sex difference research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Massachusetts General Hospital
United States
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