NHLBI Workshop: Respiratory Medicine-Related Research Training for Adult and Pediatric Fellows
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- Choi, A.M.K., Reynolds, H.Y., Colombini-Hatch, S. et al. Lung (2009) 187: 347. doi:10.1007/s00408-009-9172-4
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The pulmonary physician-scientist has a special niche to generate basic research findings and apply them to a clinical disease and perhaps impact its medical care. The availability of new high throughput-based scientific technologies in the “omics era” has made this an opportune time for physician scientists to prepare and embark on an academic career in respiratory disease research. However, maintaining an adequate flow through the research pipeline of physician-scientist investigators studying respiratory system diseases is currently a challenge. There may not be a sufficient workforce emerging to capitalize on current research opportunities. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) organized a workshop to assess ways to attract and properly train advanced fellows to pursue research careers in adult and pediatric lung diseases. Participants included representatives from the various pulmonary training programs, respiratory-related professional societies, and NHLBI staff. Deliberation centered on present barriers that might affect interest in pursuing research training, devising better incentives to attract more trainees, and how current research support offered by the NHLBI and the Professional Societies (in partnership with Industry and Patient Support groups) might be better coordinated and optimized to ensure a continued pipeline of pulmonary investigators. Major recommendations offered are: (1) Attract trainees to pulmonary/critical care medicine-based research careers by increasing research exposure and opportunities for high school, college, and medical students. (2) Increase awareness of the outstanding physician-scientist role models in the lung community for trainees. (3) Facilitate mechanisms by which the lung community (NHLBI, professional societies, and partners) can better support and bridge senior fellows as they transition from Institutional Training Grants (T32) to Career Series (K) awards in their early faculty career development.