PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT ! The goals of this Musculoskeletal Research Training Program are to provide trans-disciplinary research opportunities for postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and medical students at Mayo Clinic and to train them to be future leaders of biomedical research. Musculoskeletal ailments such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, tendonopathies, sarcopenia and fractures are some of the most common reasons why people of all ages visit a doctor. They significantly impact quality of life, cause disabilities, and pose large personal, societal and economic burdens. The repair, regeneration, or rejuvenation of musculoskeletal tissues and joints requires knowledge of complex and interconnected biomechanical, biological, and physiological processes. This program aims to train future biologists, engineers, and physicians/surgeons to solve orthopedic and musculoskeletal problems by providing outstanding research and educational opportunities within the setting of a state-of-the-art medical and research center. Twenty-eight faculty members, who are leaders in basic, translational, and clinical research of orthopedics and the musculoskeletal system, will mentor trainees by directing research projects and group discussions on timely topics. A peer-mentoring system provides new trainees with opportunities to receive advice and counseling from past trainees who successfully obtained independent fellowships. Postdoctoral fellows (5 per year) and graduate students (2 per year) will engage in multiyear projects and receive training in grant writing and career development. They will be expected to submit applications for independent fellowships and to participate in a full array of programmatic activities, including but not limited to journal clubs, seminars, symposia, webinars, national scientific meetings, and training in the responsible conduct of research. Medical students (2 per year) from fully accredited medical schools in the United States and her territories (i.e., Puerto Rico) will spend two to three months in the training program and are expected to complete a defined research project under the guidance of a mentor(s) and to participate in programmatic educational activities. This blended musculoskeletal research training program values individuals from diverse educational and societal backgrounds and benefits from the unique perspectives they bring to solving complex medical problems and reducing the burden of musculoskeletal diseases on patients, their families and our society.
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