Colorado PROFILES, The Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI)
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Training in Neonatal Research

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There is a profound need for newly trained physician/scientists to enter academic careers in Neonatology. The Division of Neonatology at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital has, for several decades, trained fellowship graduates to assume national and international leadership roles in Neonatology. We are proud of our accomplishments in the initial funding cycle of this T32 which include placement of all five T32 fellows in academic faculty careers, and a marked increase in the pool of TGE applicants. In this proposal we will enable trainees to address a broad spectrum of neonatal morbidities by focusing on our existing scientific strengths in respiratory neurobiology, brain development, and neurodevelopmental outcome and inflammation. We have an accomplished M.D. and Ph.D. mentoring faculty with scientific expertise in these three thematic areas, encompassing both basic translational and patient oriented research. We will recruit trainees to a two-year intensive research immersion under the mentorship of established investigators within one of these thematic areas. A mentorship committee may include near peer junior faculty preceptors to serve as trainee role models in addition to senior faculty mentors. As the primary mentor experience of the trainee is critical for success, we have chosen mentoring faculty with a strong track record for physician/scientist training, and will provide close monitoring of the trainee/mentorship relationship. Trainees will be exposed to a well-structured didactic program to provide all the necessary skills for academic career development. Optional curricular activities will be designed for the chosen field of basic science or epidemiologic research [e.g., award of a Master's of Science degree in Clinical Research]. Oversight will occur via both stringent Internal Steering Committee review and an External Review Committee of highly regarded academic leaders in Neonatology. New strategies have been initiated to recruit minority and otherwise disadvantaged candidates to ensure a diversity of trainees committed to a successful transition from fellowship to basic translational or patient-oriented research focused on improving neonatal health. In summary, we are poised to build upon the success of our prior T32 funding cycle by incorporating new experienced investigators into the existing pool of mentors, all of whom are focused on neurorespiratory maturation and inflammatory pathways that contribute to resultant morbidities.
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