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Intensive research training is offered in three programmatic areas: the Experimental Research track, the Clinical Research track and the Healthcare Transformation Research track.
The program pays great attention to mentorship on the personal and academic level. The program director meets with the fellows every six months to ensure that the fellows remain on track in all aspects of training. Many faculty within and outside the division are available for fellows to choose as mentors. To better coordinate the fellows’ mentorship in research, the fellowship has a research working group attended by Marc Rothenberg, MD, PhD, Simon Hogan, PhD, David Bernstein, MD, and Kimberly Risma, MD, PhD as faculty members and fellow representatives. The working group formalizes the research plans for the fellowship and the Scientific Oversight Committee for each fellow.In addition to technical competence, the fellows develop important skills in bringing a research project to fruition, including grant writing, manuscript preparation and oral presentations of research findings.
Allergy / immunology fellows interested in basic and experimental biology may conduct research in a broad range of immunological disorders.The fellows in the Experimental Research track join a research laboratory, where they spend the majority of their effort during research years, and develop competency in performing research techniques that are pertinent to their particular research project. For example, fellows may learn the following techniques: DNA cloning, sequencing, DNA chips; animal breeding, husbandry and genotyping; transgenic engineering; tissue culture; microscopy including morphometric analysis; histologic identification of lymphocytes, mast cells, eosinophils, etc.; immunohistochemistry, mRNA in situ hybridization; cytokine assays − enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), polymerase chain reactions (PCR); Southern, northern, and western blotting; electrophoresis; and data analysis, graphs, statistics and interpretation.Fellows on the Clinical Research track may choose to enroll in graduate-level courses through the University of Cincinnati’s Immunobiology Graduate Training Program, located at Cincinnati Children’s. This program was designed to meet a growing demand for well-trained immunologists, both in academic institutions and in industry.
Allergy / Immunology fellows interested in clinical research have several research and opportunities. The fellows in the Clinical Research track develop a clinical research project, on which they spend the majority of their effort during research years, and competency in performing research techniques that are pertinent to their particular research project and in data analysis, graphs, statistics and interpretation.
Allergy / immunology fellows interested in transforming pediatric health and healthcare delivery may apply to the Quality Scholars Program in Healthcare Transformation. The program’s objectives are to develop conceptual, methodological, practical and leadership skills to: design, develop, test, sustain, scale and disseminate effective interventions in healthcare delivery; accurately measure health and healthcare quality, cost and value; create and lead organizational and policy environments engaged in continuous improvement; and undertake research that creates knowledge and translates evidence of improved approaches to care in clinical, public health and policy settings. This program, directed by Evaline A. Allessandrini, MD, has a three-year training period and involves formal coursework with the University of Cincinnati for a master’s of science in the Clinical Research Training Program. The Quality Scholars Program has two training tracks − Independent Improvement Investigator and System-wide Improvement Leader.
Trainees have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of new therapeutic agents under development for approval by the FDA. The faculty in the Allergy and Immunology Division in the Department of Internal Medicine have established a clinical research center where multicenter clinical trials and investigator-initiated studies are performed, including numerous trials of new agents for treating acute attacks of hereditary angioedema. Trainees work as sub-investigators under direct supervision of clinical and translational faculty and are introduced to the nuts and bolts of conducting clinical studies, good clinical practice (GCP) guidelines and ethical principles guiding conduct of human research. On the pediatric side, there are over ten investigator-initiated clinical protocols ongoing and fellows can get involved at various levels, including the design of new protocols.
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