This application is for a new T32 institutional training program to support postdoctoral research in intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). The Rose F. Kennedy Center and its program of IDD research has for 50 years been in the forefront of discoveries in brain development, function and disease. Today, we are in an era of unprecedented discovery of new genes and gene variants, as well as environmental and related conditions, linked to IDD. At the same time, we are armed with remarkable advances in modern research tools in neuroscience, genetics and in cell and molecular biology. Our goal here is to create a vibrant new training program that successfully brings together talented postdoctoral fellows working with world-class investigators and their laboratories to develop the next generation of highly motivated and successful IDD-focused research scientists. The four broad objectives of this program are (1) to provide in-depth research experiences and didactic training in biomedical science for highly talented postdoctoral fellows in a manner that shapes their lifetime career objectives and at the same time fosters discovery and advancement of our understanding of, and ability to treat, specific types of IDDs; (2) to build effective cross-discipline communication between basic research laboratories and IDD-focused clinics, sensitizing our postdoctoral trainees to the perspective of IDD-focused clinicians and vice versa; (3) to extend this network of cooperation between trainees and their laboratories, and clinicians and their clinics, to encompass whenever possible the parents/care providers and IDD-affected patients; and (4) to provide career guidance and professional development to our trainees, with this effort coupled to our goal to recruit and train members of underrepresented minority groups. To accomplish these important goals, we have assem- bled a team of 36 highly talented primary trainers selected from our 100-member Rose F. Kennedy IDDRC membership. These individuals come from 15 basic science and clinical departments and span a host of research approaches to IDD ? from human investigations including iPSC studies, to mouse, fish, fly and worm models of IDDs. In addition, we have developed a structured training program designed to broaden the trainees IDD-focus well beyond the immediate lab experience. We have also established a plan of mentoring committees to guide our trainees along with evaluation processes allowing us to continually monitor and modify our program to ensure we are on track to our stated goals. Finally, we have engaged our clinical partners working with patients with IDDs and established a strong role for them in the training program. This program brings our institution?s considerable depth, rigorous scientific approach, and tradition of innovation to bear on the important study of the cause, treatment and prevention of intellectual disability.
|Effective start/end date||5/1/20 → 4/30/22|
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