The University of Illinois at Chicago is a recipient of a major Training Program supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This NIH-sponsored institutional training program, currently in its 23rd year, was borne out of our commitment to providing a research training opportunity that emphasizes comprehensive research in biology and pathobiology of cardiovascular systems and lungs. Our pre-eminent goal is to provide state-of-the-art research training for an outstanding group of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees. The training program extends beyond simply the reductionist approach by additionally emphasizing integrative and systems biology.
The training faculty consists of 39 members: 36 professors or associate tenured professors and 3 tenure track assistant professors. All training faculty members are independent investigators with proven success in research and training as well as in obtaining longstanding extramural funding. They meet regularly at seminars and informal discussions and are actively involved in collaborative research. The faculty members have research strengths in the specific areas of cell and molecular biology, cell physiology, stem cell biology, immunology, pharmacology, and systems physiology.
An inherent feature of the program is that it crosses disciplinary and departmental boundaries (i.e., Pharmacology, Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology, and Cell Biology). There is significant complementary overlap of faculty research interests as reflected in collaborative research projects, grant funding and co-authored publications. The diversity of the training faculty interests, centered on cardiovascular and lung biology and pathobiology, affords the trainees flexibility in choosing preceptors and specific research projects. The intensive research training is supplemented by lectures, seminars, graduate courses, and visits by external consultants. The program has recently been further strengthened by the Center for Lung and Vascular Biology, a center dedicated to bringing together an exceptional group of nationally recognized investigators.
The training program emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary research in areas relevent to lung biology and pathobiology, in an environment that fosters independent and creative thinking, with the objective of training future research leaders. Furthermore, the program on the basis of emphasizing critical thinking also provides training for future careers in "non-bench" areas such as medical writing, research policy, patent law, etc. There is the appreciation and underlying philosophy that a contemporary training should encompass a breadth of expertise needed for success of our trainees.