1043. The Duke Scholars in Infectious Disease Program: Fostering Translational Research Amongst the Next Generation of Basic Scientists in Infectious Diseases
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Education and Training in Infectious Diseases
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Room: Poster Hall B1
Background: Infectious diseases (ID) is one of many areas that will benefit from the current emphasis on translational medicine.  A new generation of scientists will be needed working at all stages of the bench-to-bedside continuum who understand the objectives of translational medicine. The Duke Scholars in Infectious Diseases Program (DSID) at Duke University has the objective of exposing predoctoral and postdoctoral basic scientists-in-training to the unmet needs in ID, building familiarity with clinical ID practice, breaking down barriers to clinician-scientist communication, and providing career development guidance.

Methods: 6-7 scholars participate annually. The participants, advanced predoctoral students and postdoctoral associates, spend a half day each month on the Pediatric and Adult Clinical ID services. Participation in Microbiology Laboratory rounds, ID Journal Club, and ID Case Conference occurs monthly. Small group discussions with guest faculty, representing successful careers in bench-to-bedside research, provide the program participants with insights into how to identify and address relevant ID research questions. The participants also attend the IDSA Annual Meeting to identify emerging problems in clinical infectious diseases as they consider future career paths.

Results: The program has conducted a competitive application process for 2 years with 9 predoctoral and 4 postdoctoral participants from Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Biochemistry, Immunology, and Pharmacology and Cancer Biology.  The third year is fully subscribed with an expansion into other basic science departments.  Qualitative survey data indicates that the program provided students with significant insight into the most compelling issues in clinical ID practice. The interactions with the guest faculty resulted in enhanced motivation to pursue careers in ID research. The annual program costs have been less than $7,500.

Conclusion: The DSID Program is an inexpensive, high impact program that provides a template for developing the next generation of ID researchers inspired by translational goals.  The program design and implementation could be readily adapted to multiple fields of biomedical research and clinical practice.

Subject Category: J. Clinical practice issues

Patrick Seed, MD, PhD, Duke University, Durham, NC, Andrew Alspaugh, MD, Medicine/Infectious Diseases, Duke University, Durham, NC and Ravi Jhaveri, MD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC


P. Seed, None

A. Alspaugh, None

R. Jhaveri, None

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