UCLA, CURE, and the VA West Los Angeles are the home to a successful, ongoing National Institutes of Health (NIH)-training grant which has been continuously funded for the last 43 years to train the next generation of academicians and physician-scientists in digestive diseases, digestive pathophysiology, and/or gastrointestinal (GI) health.
The T32 grant funds the career development and mentored research of GI fellows/MD/PhD trainees in related GI fields (pediatric GI, GI surgery, GI pathology, physiology, and nutrition) in basic, translational, clinical, and outcomes-health services research. Six training slots per year are funded by the NIH. Written applications for funding are prepared by prospective trainees and their chosen, experienced and funded mentors, from a pool of more than 35 NIH-approved mentors at UCLA, CURE, or the VA West LA (WLA VAMC). These written proposals are reviewed by an executive committee (EC) of ten senior investigators in a peer review process to determine which trainees will be funded. The directors of this T32 grant and the EC are all funded physician-scientists or basic scientists who are very knowledgeable about career development and mentoring others in GI research. They are also in leadership positions of departments or divisions at UCLA, CURE, or WLA VAMC and are committed to help train others. If approved by the NIH, trainees can be funded for career development (such as a PhD through the UCLA STAR program) and mentored laboratory research for one to three years. Over the last four decades, many successful academicians, physician-scientists, and leaders in GI have been trained with funding from this NIH T32 grant. The grant was competitively renewed for five more years with funding from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2021.