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VUMC lands NIH training grant in emergency care

Aug. 25, 2016, 8:54 AM

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) has received a five-year, $2 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish the Vanderbilt Emergency Care Research Training Program.

Vanderbilt is one of only three recipients nationwide of the trans-NIH training grant in emergency care, which is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research (Grant No. K12 HL133117).

Alan Storrow, M.D., left, and Thomas Wang, M.D., are leading the Vanderbilt Emergency Care Research Training Program.
Alan Storrow, M.D., left, and Thomas Wang, M.D., are leading the Vanderbilt Emergency Care Research Training Program.

This grant will allow Vanderbilt’s Emergency Medicine program to train scientists who are interested in translating basic science into care improvements for acutely ill or injured patients.

Led by Alan Storrow, M.D., associate professor of Emergency Medicine, and Thomas Wang, M.D., Gottlieb C. Friesinger II Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, the program will accept two scholars per year who have completed residency, a Ph.D. or equivalent training. These scholars will have the opportunity to develop expertise in emergency care such as acute cardiopulmonary emergencies, the neurobiology of acute psychiatric illness and patient-centered emergency care nursing.

This is the second NIH-awarded training grant for Vanderbilt’s Department of Emergency Medicine. In 2011, the program received the nation’s first K12 grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health in Emergency Medicine.

“Obtaining our second training grant again demonstrates what an outstanding emergency research group we have developed,” said Corey Slovis, M.D., chair of Emergency Medicine.

“Our success has only been made possible, however, with the great synergies that we have with others such as Cardiology, Infectious Diseases, Psychiatry and Population Health.”

The program will have three major components: hands-on clinical research and culminating thesis; career development and mentoring activities to prepare scholars for an academic career; and education. Although clinically oriented, the program will also highlight the importance of collaborating with basic researchers in hypothesizing and designing clinical research.

“While remarkable advances in the diagnosis and management of acute, life-threatening cardiopulmonary and hematologic disorders have occurred in past decades, there is growing national concern that expert emergency care clinical investigators who can translate new research findings to practice are insufficient in number,” Storrow said. “It has never been more important to create and maintain a cadre of emergency care physician scientists, given the unprecedented developments at the cellular and molecular level, including knowledge of the human genome.”

An internal advisory committee, chaired by Gordon Bernard, M.D., the Melinda Owen Bass Professor of Medicine and Executive Vice President for Research, VUMC, will assist in the selection, training and evaluation of the scholars as well as evaluate the program itself. Other advisory committee members include Slovis, Robert Dittus, M.D., MPH; Nancy Brown, M.D.; William Cooper, M.D., MPH; Marie Griffin, M.D., MPH; Tina Hartert, M.D., MPH; Katherine Hartmann, M.D., Ph.D.; and Alp Ikinzler, M.D.

“This training program fills an important need by developing physician-scientists whose work will improve our understanding and management of acute illness,” Wang said.
Applications are currently being accepted for the Vanderbilt Emergency Care Research Training Program.

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