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Cardiology T32 Training Grant

Training in Personalized Cardiovascular Medicine (TPIPCVM) Principal Investigator: Dawood Darbar, MD

Project Summary:

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a major cause for significant morbidity and mortality in the U.S. especially in ethnic minorities with their high burden of risk factors. Personalized medicine is a rapidly growing field of healthcare whereby an individual’s unique genomic, environmental and clinical background is analyzed to ascertain susceptibility to disease, predict their clinical course and tailor specific therapies.

Despite recent advances in CV genomics, our inability to target therapy to underlying mechanisms in individual patients, the failure to translate these scientific discoveries to the bedside care of patients and barriers to the incorporation of ethnic minorities in translational CV research have limited our ability to fulfill the promise of personalized medicine. Furthermore, traditional training programs are no longer able to provide trainees with the requisite skills needed to implement the personalized medicine revolution underway.

Thereby, major goals of the Training Program in Personalized Cardiovascular Medicine (TPIPCVM) are to equip trainees to become leaders in CV Genomics and be trained in molecular, cellular, disease and whole animal modeling and clinical and translational approaches to CVD so that this new knowledge can be translated into best evidence-based personalized CV care. We will recruit highly talented and motivated pre- and post-doctoral trainees and provide them with the highest caliber training in CV genomics stemming from existing strengths of our faculty in the Division of Cardiology and our partners at UIC. The 3 Research Focus Groups: 1) Cardiac arrhythmias; 2) Ischemic and non-ischemic cardiomyopathy; and CVD-related metabolic syndrome are highly interrelated with each other and directly linked with the central theme of Personalized CV Genomics.

The overarching goal of the TPIPCVM is to train the next generation of CV investigators to create new knowledge and implement into best evidence-based personalized medicine. The TPIPCVM mentors are highly successful physician-scientists/scientists with a proven record of research, mentoring and collaboration who offer superb inter- and multi- disciplinary training opportunities. Major strengths of this training program include: exposure of trainees to an integrated basic science molecular, cellular, and whole patient approach to identify the underlying mechanisms of CVD; the track record of the faculty and their common research interest in Personalized CV Genomics; dedicated training in personalized CV medicine; and the potential to implement scientific discoveries to a diverse and under-represented population of patients cared for at UIC Medical Center.

The TPIPCVM sets out to train 2 pre-doctoral and 2 post-doctoral students annually. Collectively, this Training Program offers a unique training experience and fulfills an urgent need for training in personalized CV medicine.


Public Health Relevance:

The Training Program In Personalized Cardiovascular Medicine (TPIPCVM) provides support for the training of basic and physician-scientists before and after their doctoral degrees. The central theme of the training program is cardiovascular genomics with a focus on abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), weakened heart muscle (cardiomyopathies) and heart disease related the being overweight (metabolic syndrome) and how we can translate these discoveries to the bedside care of patients. The program will prepare future researchers for the unique challenges associated with treating patients with heart disease in an individualized manner.