Research Training Program in Benign Urology [T32]

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Program Description

The University of Florida (UF) ‘Research Training Program in Benign Urology’ is a novel training initiative designed to prepare urologists and scientists for independent research careers in the most serious urologic disease areas affecting public health. The Fellowship, supported by a NIDDK T32 training grant, provides two consecutive years of postdoctoral research training to develop the skills required for a successful academic career in urologic research. Fellows will conduct impactful research projects in diverse disease areas and will receive exceptional mentorship by NIH funded faculty, affiliated with multiple departments/institutes on the University’s Gainesville campus (see mentor list below). Trainees may elect to complete coursework towards a Masters Degree in Medical Science, Epidemiology or Public Health. Applicants should have completed an MD or PhD degree by the time they begin the research training program. Upon successful completion, fellows are expected to pursue an academic position or further training in a mentored setting.

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Program Components

The goals of this training program are to provide the fellow with:

1) The essential background and skills with which to conduct basic and translational research projects and

2) An opportunity to apply these research skills in a mentored setting.

Year One

Research Training

During this first year, the trainee will identify a research mentor and begin to plan his/her main clinical research project. Together with the mentor, the trainee will design a research protocol that shall be completed in the second year of this program. Emphasis will be placed on training in preparation for submitting NIH level grants. Exceptional training and mentorship will be provided in the following four research areas:

a)    Urolithiasis and metabolic disorders
b)    Immunology and inflammation
c)    Stem cell biology and regenerative medicine
d)    Genetics and epigenetics

Each trainee will be also linked to a practicing urologist as co-mentor to ensure the proper focus on clinically relevant areas within their field of study.

Didactic Training

Beginning in year one, trainees will participate in all the elective coursework required by the University of Florida CTSI ‘Advanced Postgraduate Program in Clinical Investigation’ to obtain a Masters degree. The trainee has the opportunity to select one of the following degrees:

a)     Master of Science in Medical Science (MS-CTS)
b)     Master of Science in Epidemiology (MSE)
c)     Master of Public Health (MPH)

The concepts and methodologies behind translational and clinical research will be taught in detail. Using specific examples, trainees will learn how to bring new scientific ideas from the bench to the bedside to impact human disease. Emphasis will be placed on understanding various aspects of research technologies, data evaluation, bioethics, study designs, protocol development, and regulatory issues.

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Clinical Responsibilities 

Trainees must commit 40 hours per week to the research program and its related research activities, consonant with NRSA 2013 guidelines. During the two-year training period, research trainees who are also training as clinicians must devote their full time to the proposed research training and must confine clinical duties to those that are an integral part of the research training experience. This will ensure that the trainee has sufficient time to focus on research projects and attend classes. To maintain surgical skills and remain involved in clinical medicine, trainees may elect to participate in clinical care beyond the 40 hours per week of the program. This additional clinical effort will be limited to 20 hours per week.

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Required Conferences

The trainee will be expected to participate in all conferences/seminars conducted within the UF Department of Urology, including but not limited to multidisciplinary Stone Disease and Female Urology Boards (monthly), a Surgical Quality Conference (weekly), a Urologic Imaging and Uropathology conference (monthly), Urology Grand Rounds (weekly), Journal Club (monthly), Research Conference (monthly), Community and CME events (annually). In addition, the trainee is expected to participate in educational seminars and lectures offered by the University of Florida CTSI, as they relate to the trainee’s research project or interests.

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Program Expectations

The trainee is expected to complete all the required coursework and fulfill requirements of the University of Florida CTSI. In addition, he/she is required to carry out a well-designed research project using a well stated hypothesis, an appropriate experimental approach and primary data collection to present this research at regional and national meetings, and to have at least one scientific manuscript based on this project submitted to a peer reviewed journal for publication.

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Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents.

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Loan Payment Program

Trainees of this program are eligible for support from NIH in repaying educational loans.

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Salary & Benefits according to Graduate Medical Education (GME) compensation and benefits scale
Discount on medical book purchases
Lab coats
Pagers and cell phone stipend
Free parking
Paid membership to AUA
House staff meal vouchers
Multimedia computers and Ipads provided
Funding provided for up to three state/national research conferences

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Program Director:

Saeed Khan, PhD, Professor of Pathology and Urology

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Program Faculty:

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Mentor Department Affiliation Research Focus
Saeed Khan Pathology/Urology Stones/Metabolic Disorders
Mary Brown Veterinary Medicine Stones/Infectious Diseases
Benjamin Canales Urology Stones/Metabolic Disorders
Martin Cohn Genetics Institute Development/Stem Cells
Yehia Daaka Urology/Anatomy and Cell Biology Cell Signaling/Inflammation
Julie Johnson Pharmacogenomics Genetics/Genomics
Lyle Moldawer Surgery Inflammation/Trauma
Ammon B. Peck Veterinary Medicine Genetics/Animal Models
Michael Clare-Salzer Pathology Immunology/Inflammation
Brent Reynolds Neurosurgery Regenerative Medicine
Edward Scott Molecular Genetics Regenerative Medicine
Peter Stacpoole Medicine Metabolomics/Genomics
Dennis Steindler Neurosurgery Regenerative Medicine
Naohiro Terada Pathology/Immunology Stem Cells
David Weiner Medicine(Nephrology) Stones/Transport Proteins
Charles Wood Physiology Epigenetics
Thomas Yang Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Epigenetics

Contact Information:

Administrative Office: 352-273-6815
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