Training Program in Lung Science
Principal Investigator: Jacob I. Sznajder
The long-term goal of the Northwestern University’s Lung Sciences Training Program (NULSTP) is to encourage bright, enthusiastic, well-trained, academically-oriented MDs and PhDs to purse a career in Pulmonary Biology investigation. The trainees supported by our training grant focus their research efforts on the cellular and molecular pathophysiology of lung disease and the translation of these findings to the bedside. The trainees are provided with the scientific environment, didactic training and career development mentorship required to initiate a successful career in research. The training is fostering an environment for the acquisition of scientific skills, collaborative interactions and critical thinking required to pursue careers in pulmonary and critical care investigation.
The training grant provides: 1). Stipend support for the development of MD, pre-doctoral and post-doctoral basic research scientists. 2) Mentorship by senior investigators. 3) The laboratory environment, training and supervision required for the development of independent investigators. 4) The educational resources in the form of didactic courses, invited speakers and collaborative interactions that will foster the skills required for an independent research career. 5) Administrative structure that will facilitate the trainee’s acquisition of independent extramural funding, faculty appointments and/or further training required to establish an independent academic career. 6) Protected time from activities not directly related to research.
During the first ~9 years of this program, 35 trainees were supported by our Training Program. Of the 11 pre-doctoral trainees, 3 pre-doctoral trainees are in prestigious post-doctoral programs, 1 is completing the MSTP program, 5 are continuing their pre-doctoral training. Of the 24 post-doctoral fellows, 7 are now faculty members in our division, while 8 are faculty members in outside academic institutions, 7 are continuing their training. Several of our trainees have been competitive for individual training awards and have obtained alternative funding. Figure 1 shows the total number of extramural awards (“K” awards, Parker B Francis Fellowships, individual NRSA, American Heart Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation) and awards from Northwestern.
Figure 1. Total number of awards received by the trainees since 2004 from NIH, AHA, American Heart Association; PBF, Parker B Francis Fellowship; and CFF, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; and awards from NU, Northwestern University.