New NIH funding for Detroit Cardiovascular Training Program expands opportunities for WSU Applebaum researchers, students

This story is adapted from one that appeared in the Wayne State University newsroom.

The Detroit Cardiovascular Training Program at Wayne State University received notice that funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health will continue for the next five years with additional funding of $1.29 million. In addition, the NIH has approved raising the trainee slots from four to six, strengthening the university’s ability to attract the most talented candidates searching for a cardiovascular graduate program.

The program, led by Jian-Ping Jin, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of physiology in Wayne State’s School of Medicine, began in 2014 to offer multidisciplinary and collaborative training efforts in educating a new generation of scientists who will pursue careers in cardiovascular research. Trainees will focus on improving health care and contribute to economic growth by creating innovations that will translate into medical practices. This is the only pre-doctoral cardiovascular training T32 program in the state of Michigan.

Two Ph.D. students in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences have been supported by the training grant, including Dulmini Bharupala, who is currently director of the WSU MedDirect program, and Brianne Lewis, a senior graduate student within Professor Timothy Stemmler's lab who will graduate in May 2019.

"As a director and PI of the training grant, JP Jin is an outstanding research leader at the university," Stemmler said. "His tireless and selfless efforts, first to bring the training grant to Wayne State, and then to make it available across departments and across colleges, shows a level of collegiality that not only helps elevate all research performed at the university, it also highlights an individual who truly wants to address cardiovascular disease."

Trainees in the program are selected from a pool of high-quality candidates, including under-represented minorities from various institutional programs such as the NIH’s Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity in Wayne State University’s Department of Physiology.

“This program provides rigorous formal research training for pre-doctoral graduate students,” Jin said. “Our team of 19 faculty members in four schools and colleges at Wayne State will offer broad and complementary scientific expertise in cardiovascular biology and diseases, preparing our trainees with strong backgrounds in molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular health and diseases using integrative and translational approaches to scientific investigation.”

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of mortality in the United States and around the world. Understanding the biology, physiology and pathology of the heart and circulation is critical to improving treatment and prevention. Wayne State’s competitive renewal of the project will contribute a major role in research education that will offer a new generation of scientists focused on improving healthcare outcomes in the Detroit region and around the world.

The grant number for this National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health is 2T32HL120822.

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