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VISTA grant to fund hospital-based research training in heart, lung, blood, sleep disorders

Feb. 12, 2024, 4:31 PM

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has received a five-year, $2.4 million federal grant to establish a first-of-its-kind training program in patient-oriented and health systems research focused on acute heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders in the hospital setting.

Supported by the National Institutes of Health, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the Vanderbilt Interdisciplinary Hospital-based Systems of Care Research Training ProgrAm (VISTA) will provide two years of mentored training to prepare postdoctoral investigators for the next stage in their careers.

Program co-directors are Michael Ward, MD, PhD, MBA, and Alan Storrow, MD, vice chair and associate chair of Research, respectively, Department of Emergency Medicine, and Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc, director of the Center for Health Services Research and the Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research.

Heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders are among the leading indications for hospital admission in the United States. Most patients are admitted through the emergency department, then transitioned to hospital care.

As the first hospital-based research program on cardiovascular disease supported by a T32 training grant, VISTA will support research across the continuum of care, from emergency assessment through hospital care and follow-up, said Ward, who with Storrow is an associate professor and leader in emergency medicine research at VUMC.

A clinical and research collaboration between hospital medicine and emergency medicine, the program will use the Learning Health System (LHS) framework to train postdoctoral health care professionals in the discovery and implementation of new ways to deliver high quality care while simultaneously advancing science.

“Trainees in this program will conduct research in the real-world setting that has immediate application to improve the care of common heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders which are treated in the hospital,” said Kripalani, professor of Medicine and a national leader in LHS and implementation science.

The program, which begins in July, is accepting applications from candidates with MD/DO, PharmD, DDS, and PhD or equivalent degrees in disciplines relevant to health systems research, including health economics, policy, nursing, psychology, social work, epidemiology and informatics.

Two to three trainees will be selected each year. They will receive support for mentored research and career development focused on the delivery of care in emergency medicine and hospital medicine settings.

To apply, and for more information, visit

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