Research in the field of vascular biology has changed how we prevent, monitor, and treat cardiovascular
disease. In particular, efforts in the last fifty years provided transformative advancements in patient care,
raised life expectancy, and improved the quality of life of those individuals affected by vascular pathologies.
However, challenges still remain. Furthermore, the improvements in reparative surgery and treatment of
previously lethal cardiovascular anomalies, brought to light new pathologies associated with a population
that now survives congenital diseases. It is through training of the next generation that we will be able to
make constant improvements in cardiovascular care to address emerging clinical problems. This proposal
seeks renewal for the Vascular Biology Training Program (VBTP) at UCLA. Entering its 4th cycle, the
program has provided training for 46 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows since 2002. Its degree of
success can be assessed by the high percentage of trainees now in academic and industry positions and
by the caliber of the 169 studies published by our trainees. In this next iteration of the program, our central
goal remains to offer robust, interdisciplinary training to the next generation of vascular biologists. To
achieve this goal, we are renewing the structure of our educational approach to respond to the more
diverse needs of our trainees and the expanding demands of the future workforce. Specifically, the
program has evolved to adopt a multi-mentorship approach, incorporate training in emerging technologies,
and create opportunities for interactive exposure to industry and medicine. In this manner, we aim to
develop scientists who are intellectually broad and have technical versatility, able to integrate information
from multiple fields, and apply this information toward the resolution of emerging challenges in the field.
The program also places a strong emphasis in career development, research integrity, and on enlarging
the pool of underrepresented scientists. As the only Vascular Biology Training Grant in the Los Angeles
area and one of eight in the state of California, our program is sought-after by a large pool of candidates.
This allows us to select highly qualified and committed trainees and to build a community of scholars with
strong focus in vascular biology. Importantly, UCLA has a large number of interdisciplinary groups
interested in diverse aspects of vascular biology and located next to a large research hospital. It is this
community that constitues the pillars of a unique training program for the next generation of scientists.
Here, we request funds to continue the support for 7 pre- and 3 post-doctoral fellows/year, in which 2-3
new graduate students and 1-2 post-doctoral fellows will enter the program each year. The previous
success of the program and the commitment of its faculty has engendered enthusiasm within the School of
Medicine, College, and the Graduate Division at UCLA. Each of these entities have pledged institutional
support and programatic synergy to accomplish the renewed goals of this program.