BUSM’s longest NIH-funded research training program, “Biology of the Lung: A Multi-Disciplinary Program,” has been awarded a five-year, T32 grant to provide multidisciplinary training and exposure to collaborative lung biology in three scientific areas that are special strengths at Boston University: Development and Regenerative Medicine; Immunology and Infection; and Biomedical Data Sciences.
This renewal means that the NIH has continuously funded this program for 50 years. The award provides federal support for BU faculty members to mentor research trainees in lung biology and pulmonary sciences, as well as in professional skills like grant writing, science communication and career development.
This $4.1 million award from the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute will be led by Co-Principal Investigators Joseph Mizgerd, ScD, professor of medicine, microbiology and biochemistry, and Darrell Kotton, MD, the David C. Seldin Professor of Medicine. During each year of the grant, six pre-doctoral trainees who are PhD or MD/PhD students and six post-doctoral trainees who are MD, PhD, or MD/PhD fellows will participate in the program.
According to the principal investigators, the science of health and disease has become increasingly complex, requiring highly coordinated research efforts to ask and answer relevant questions and sophisticated environments to train the individuals who will make tomorrow’s most important discoveries. “This T32 program offers training for pre-doctoral PhD students and postdoctoral MD and PhD fellows in the most advanced areas of lung science in an integrated fashion, concentrating on providing high quality mentorship in the scientific disciplines most likely to make advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of lung diseases,” explained Mizgerd, who also directs the University’s Pulmonary Center.
Kotton, who also is Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM) at BU and Boston Medical Center, believes the keystone principle of the training is bi-directional translation of ideas between basic and clinical spheres. “That is why we train MD fellows together with PhD students and fellows in a unified program. Our structure ensures that postdoctoral MD physician-scientists train side-by-side with PhD pre-doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, learning from each other as well as their mentors, in Scientific Focus Groups integrating basic science with clinical science as applied to lung disease,” he said.