The objectives of the Career Development Program in Omics of Lung Diseases (K12) entitled “Omics of Inflammatory Airway Diseases” are to develop and evaluate an interdisciplinary program that will educate young pulmonary investigators in methods of integrative "omics" technologies including genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics, computational modeling, and systems biology. Scholars (2/year for years 2 through 5 of this Award) will be clinical or research (postdoctoral) instructors or recently appointed Assistant Professors who are within 5 years of completion of residency or receipt of Ph.D. Scholars are expected to become independent investigators and assume leadership roles in using omics technologies to elucidate pulmonary diseases. The central omics focus of the program exploits the strong commitment of the faculty at Washington University to apply multiple omics-based methods to investigation of the biological basis of inflammatory airway diseases.

To ensure expertise in clinical research methods, responsible conduct of research, and the scientific prerequisites for submission of a K Award application, the scholars will take courses in the well-established Clinical Research Training Center (CRTC)(TL1 TR000449 and KL2 TR000450) sponsored by Washington University’s Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (CTSA: UL1 TR000448). Also during the first year, to provide hands on omics research experience, scholars will participate in 3 month, educational immersion rotations with established omics- or pulmonary-based teams of investigators, and attend relevant, ongoing conferences, journal clubs, and lectures. Each scholar’s mentored research experience will begin in January of the first year with the selection of a mentor team and scholarship oversight committee that will prepare her/him for submission of a K Award application by February of the second year.

The specific aims of this application include:

  • Specific Aim (1): We will provide fundamental training in clinical research, omics strategies, and systems biology with emphasis on translational research.
  • Specific Aim (2): We will provide extensive mentoring to the scholars for career development and for developing independent research plans that focus on lung diseases.
  • Specific Aim (3): We will support scholars by helping them prepare independent career development research grants such as K08, K23, and R01 Awards and by taking full advantage of the extraordinary resources of the participating mentors and institutional environment.
  • Specific Aim (4): We will develop and implement plans for evaluating and tracking the effectiveness and success of these efforts for each scholar up to 10 years after completion of the program.