The University of Michigan Clinical Neuroscientist Training Program is a NIH sponsored program aimed at accelerating the career development of clinician-scientists. There is an increasing gap between our ability to treat neurologic diseases and our growing understanding of normal and diseased nervous system functions. The pursuit of better potential patient treatments requires an improved integration of basic neuroscience research with clinical practice across the translational spectrum, from basic discovery through preclinical and clinical research to implementation.
To improve integration and bridge this translational gap, the U-M Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Pathology sponsor the U-M Clinical Neuroscientist Training Program (UMCNTP) residency track.
Supported by a R25 grant from the National Institutes of Neurologic Disease and Stroke, UMCNTP facilitates the development of neurologist, neurosurgeon, or neuropathologist physician-scientists pursuing either laboratory-based or clinical research. Designed for individuals with significant prior research experience, the UMCNTP offers two years of mentored research experience during residency and/or incorporating an immediate post-residency year in an outstanding research environment.
The UMCNTP integrates clinical work with mentored research training, preparing clinician-neuroscientists for independent research careers across the full spectrum of disease-oriented neuroscience study. Under the guidance of experienced senior investigators, resident-fellows focus on didactic and hands-on training that prepares them for successful career development applications such as K08, K23, VA CDA, or equivalents.
Jason Chua, MD
Biography: Dr. Chua's primary research interest is in neurodegenerative disease, with a special focus on pathways of protein quality control and their impact on disease pathogenesis. After completing his undergraduate degree in Biology and Classical Studies at Brown University, Dr. Chua earned his MD and PhD through the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Michigan Medical School. His thesis work investigated the influence of SUMOylation and macroautophagy on disease pathogenesis in spinobulbar muscular atrophy, or Kennedy's disease. His work was supported by the F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award through the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke. He is currently undergoing residency training in neurology at Michigan Medicine and plans to specialize in Movement Disorders.
Project Title: Characterizing the molecular and cell-specific determinants of neuronal autophagy.
Project description: Using an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) model system derived from fibroblasts of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, Dr. Chua will determine the specific RNA and protein effectors that differentially regulate neuronal autophagy compared to non-neuronal cell types. These studies will provide crucial information for targeting neuronal autophagy in a novel, highly specific fashion for therapy development in ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Project mentors: Sami Barmada, MD, PhD; Lois Weisman, PhD
Award & Qualifications
Residents typically apply formally for UMCNTP support during their initial residency years. Discussions about joining the UNCNTP and qualifications for UMCNTP should begin during the residency application process and potential UNCNTP candidates should contact the Program Director, Dr. Albin (see below), for information during the application process. Mentored research typically begins in mid-residency and incorporates up to 2 years of research time, possibly including a post-residency research year. UMCNTP trainees are expected to devote a minimum of 80% time to mentored research activities. Stipend levels are those of the house officers at that level of training. UMCNTP applicant qualifications include substantial research experience including PhD training, MS training, or other extensive research experience as documented by a significant publication record.
Interested candidates should contact the UMCNTP Program Director, Roger Albin, M.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-764-1347.