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Unique Training Program in Transfusion Medicine and Hematology Established

Washington, DC—Naomi L.C. Luban, MD and Lori Luchtman-Jones, MD  have secured funding from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a new pediatric transfusion medicine and hematology research program  with the Children’s Research Institute at Children’s National Medical Center. The program will prepare candidates for academic leadership and research careers.

The program leverages faculty and resources from several institutions and agencies, including George Washington University, the NIH, American Red Cross, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Howard University School of Medicine. This collaboration is deemed a unique and innovative approach to filling a gap in the number of researchers and pediatric subspecialists in hematology and transfusion medicine.

“There is a serious need for multidisciplinary approaches to addressing important clinical questions in these fields,” said Dr. Luban, Chief of Laboratory Medicine at Children’s National and director of the new program. “This highly collaborative and inter-institutional program focuses on advancing clinical and translational scholarship in the diagnosis and clinical management of hematological, cardiovascular, and pulmonary disorders, transfusion and transplantation. It also addresses the lack of well trained clinical and translational investigators in pediatric subspecialty fields.”

The program, the Pediatric Hematology and Transfusion Medicine Multidisciplinary Research Training Award, encourages diversity among trainees and will draw upon the strengths of the partnering organizations, including a wide range of senior mentors, as well as an infrastructure to support trainee research from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children’s National (CTSI-CN). The Center is a Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Institution, a consortium that is funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Applications from pediatricians (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) who are enrolled in a relevant fellowship will be accepted in May for a July 1, 2012 start. Each trainee in this two-year program will complete a Master’s degree in Clinical and Translational Science at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and will devise and implement a research project under the mentorship of a senior investigator and multidisciplinary mentorship team.

“There is a tremendous need for specialty-trained pediatricians to play leadership roles in advancing scientifically based care of children,” said Dr. Luchtman-Jones, co-director of the program and Chief of Hematology at Children’s National. “Dr. Luban and I are committed to cultivating the next generation of innovative, collaborative researchers whose work will break through barriers and have a significant impact in pediatric blood disorders. This multi-disciplinary approach assures that new researchers will have thorough training and support for their work. It is an exciting and career changing opportunity.”

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Contact: Children’s National Public Relations: Paula Darte or Emily Hartman - 202-476-4500.

The project described was supported by Grant Number UL1RR024150 from the National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

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