Grants and Contracts Details


PROJECT SUMMARY This is a renewal application requesting continued funding for a Neurobiology of CNS Injury and Repair T32 Training Program to support 4 predoctoral fellows (per year) working toward their Ph.D. degrees in the fields of spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or stroke. The overall goal continues to be to prepare highly motivated graduate students for careers in neurotrauma research-related fields by providing broad- based training in the pathophysiology of SCI, TBI and stroke and the identification of potential disease- modifying molecular targets that can drive the discovery of pharmacological or gene-based therapeutic strategies. An Executive Committee will select trainees from a pool of qualified applicants, generally in their third year of PhD training. Trainees will receive intensive hands-on research mentoring, with an emphasis on understanding and applying quantitative assessment tools, in laboratories of Training Faculty appointed in the Departments of Neuroscience, Physiology, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences who regularly interact and collaborate through their affiliation with the University of Kentucky’s Spinal Cord & Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC). In addition to required and optional coursework, trainees will engage in journal clubs, Center and departmental seminar series and a customized set of program-wide meetings in Professional Skills, Quantitative Literacy-Experimental Design and Statistics (PSQL-EDS). The monthly PSQL-EDS meetings will facilitate active learning of concepts such as quantitative literacy, statistical analysis, and cognitive bias as well as scientific writing and professional development. Of the students appointed to the T32 Program in the previous 9 years, 13 have completed their PhDs, 2 will complete their PhDs in year 10, and 6 will continue their PhD training. All those that completed their PhDs continued into science-related positions. Several are continuing their education (3 postdocs, 1 resident), one is an AAAS science policy fellow at the NIH, and the majority are pursuing careers in academia (3 Assistant Professors, 1 instructor, 1 researcher) and biomedical industry (2). The PhD completion and career placement success of the T32 Program is further highlighted by an outstanding record of recruiting and retaining diverse trainees: over 40% of appointees are of underrepresented race or ethnicity, have a disability or come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our program’s success and continued evolution will be guided by two groups: an Executive Committee comprised of the Program Directors, Training Faculty, and other senior University of Kentucky faculty who bring expertise in administration, mentoring and inclusion research initiatives, and an External Advisory Committee made up of national leaders in SCI, TBI and stroke research. Pairing comprehensive research-intensive training with didactic and interactive educational and career development activities delivered from diverse perspectives, the Neurobiology of CNS Injury and Repair T32 Program is uniquely positioned to fill a growing need for rigorously trained scientists who desire careers in neurotrauma and stroke related research. PROJECT NARRATIVE Acute CNS injuries such as spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and stroke share many common cellular and molecular mechanisms of brain damage and repair. These mechanisms often differ substantially from other genetic, developmental or degenerative brain diseases, necessitating specialized education and research training for those who pursue careers in CNS injury research with the goal of lessening the health- related burden of CNS injury on survivors. The Neurobiology of CNS Injury and Repair T32 Program is designed to provide outstanding, comprehensive educational and research-intensive training to predoctoral students and fully prepare them for their transition to independent careers.
Effective start/end date7/1/126/30/27


  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke: $243,368.00


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