Basic and Clinical Research Training in Thrombosis
Venous and arterial thrombotic diseases strike about two million Americans each year. Previously, academic institutions have been the source of insights into the pathogenesis and novel therapies for these disorders. With the recent trends of Hematology trainees toward careers in oncology and stem cell biology, it is crucial to continue to develop a pipeline of future investigators in the area of thrombosis and hemostasis. The goal of this multidisciplinary training program is to train a group of bright, young postdoctoral fellows to conduct independent and state-of-the-art basic and/or clinical research involving the molecular pathogenesis and treatment of disorders of thrombosis or hemostasis. All trainees will receive core instruction in the normal and abnormal physiology of hemostasis, including the roles of platelets, coagulation factors, fibrinolysis and endothelial cells. To serve as the basis for the subsequent research studies, coursework and mentoring will ensure an understanding of the principles of genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, epidemiology and statistics. Although the training will be tailored to the trainees interests, based on the strengths of the faculty in this Program, three areas will receive particular emphasis. 1) Animal models of vascular thrombosis and hemorrhage will be used to dissect crucial pathophysiologic mechanisms, to test novel therapies and to identify modifying genes. 2) Shear stress and bioengineering. Blood flow and shear stress have important affects on the physiology of thrombus formation, and the principles of rheology will be studied. Established systems of intravital microscopy, parallel plate flow chambers and cone and plate viscometers will be used to characterize molecules, gone regulation and signaling events participating in thrombus formation. 3) Clinical research in epidemiology, design and analysis. This latter component will be the cornerstone of future translational research efforts. A major strength of this program is the successful bridging and collaborations of our basic (bioengineers, hematologists, geneticists, biochemists, cell biologists) and clinical research faculty (hematologists, clinical and genetic epidemiologists, statisticians). Superior mentorship will be emphasized, and plans are in place to teach and evaluate the mentoring abilities of the trainees. Finally, a comprehensive strategy is in place for recruiting underrepresented minorities.