The VLC is the recipient of a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute T32 Training Grant that funds four predoctoral and three postdoctoral protégés. Our training program seeks to produce outstanding, independent biomedical scientists who investigate the mechanisms, manifestations, preventions and cures for lung disorders. The program has established a strong track record of training, mentoring, and extensive interactive collaborations between basic science and clinical faculty. This interdisciplinary program is designed both for predoctoral students to pursue their Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degrees, and for postdoctoral fellows, either MD or PhD, to receive an advanced research experience. Predoctoral trainees may be enrolled in UVM's Cell, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, Bioengineering Graduate Program, Clinical and Translational Science Graduate Program, or be pursuing a doctorate in Public Health.
The program is highly translational. Training is mentor-based, but is enriched by workshops and didactic courses in advanced contemporary laboratory skills and the "survival skills" needed to excel in modern academia. Productive mentor-protégée interactions are central to the research training experience, and are supplemented by active participation in local and national scientific meetings. Trainee progress is carefully monitored and evaluated by the mentor(s), the program Director, the Mentoring Council (Executive Committee) and the T32 Steering Committee. The faculty participating in this program have been chosen on the basis of research productivity, significant grant support, collegiality, and commitment to serve as outstanding mentors. The basic science research focus areas of the program include pulmonary mechanics, airway epithelial biology, inflammation, oxidative chemistry, immune responses, mechanotransduction, lung repair and regeneration, metabolism, cell apoptosis, and cell signaling. Additionally, clinical patient-oriented research focuses on asthma, interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, acute lung injury, obesity, cell therapy, lung infections, palliative care in a rural setting and an emerging interest in health care policy. The disciplines of pulmonary medicine, pathology, bioengineering, microbiology, pathology, immunology, physiology and public health are strongly represented. Although the trainee will receive intensive training in a single area of research, they will also receive broad-based exposure to lung-related research in other disciplines. Patient-oriented and translational research is stressed within and throughout the program. A strength of the program is the collaborative environment and interactive relationships in which MD and PhD investigators integrate to forge productive team science.
Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Fellowship
The Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (PCCM) Fellowship training program accepts two fellows each year in a three-year program that trains physicians in the specialty of PCCM. A substantial amount of time is allotted for research during the second and third years of Fellowship. The objective of the research experience is to provide Fellows the opportunity to explore the richness of evidence-based medicine that influences clinical decision-making, to develop an understanding of scientific method, to learn new techniques that complement clinical training, and to experience the process of disseminating published, peer-reviewed knowledge.