The University of Florida partners with the National Institutes of Health to provide training opportunities for the next generation of scientists. As of April 2021, this partnership directly supports the training of 86 PhD students, 37 postdoctoral trainees, 20 medical students on short-term research rotations, and 7 undergraduates interested in health science research. Indirectly, it would be difficult to capture the intricate and profound impact of these programs on the overall training and research environment within the Health Science Center, as each program designs its resources to be available to all trainees in its research sphere.
The University of Florida and the National Institutes of Health jointly sponsor 24 training programs at the University of Florida's Health Science Center.
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Explore our NIH Training Grant Programs for PhD and Postdoctoral Trainees
Led by Dr. Stephanie Karst, the BMID T32 supports 6 PhD students, each for 2 years, while they explore the molecular mechanisms of infectious disease. Now in its 38th year, this T32 is one of UF’s oldest and has supported the training of hundreds of students.
Established by Dr. Gordon Mitchell in 2017, the BREATHE T32 supports 3 PhD and 3 Postdoctoral trainees in respiratory research. Trainees have clinical and research mentors, and focus their studies around respiratory neural and muscle plasticity for those patients suffering compromised breathing capacity, stability and airway defense.
Dr. Chenglong Li developed this training program to equip a diverse, expanding and talented pool of professional researchers with the skills to pursue successful careers in the biomedical workforce. It supports 4 PhD trainees, but its programs and features have a positive impact on a much larger scale.
Drs Jada Lewis, Jennifer Bizon, and Paramita Chakrabarty guide 4 PhD trainees per year through the intricacies of these extremely inscrutable, devastating diseases. Altogether, dementias are a leading cause of death in the US, and their impact will only grow with our aging population, unless new research points to a brighter path.
The T90/R90 training program, helmed by Dr. Jose Lemos, supports 8 PhD, 5 Postdoctoral, and 1 international Postdoctoral trainee. It is the largest NIH-supported training program at UF. Trainees explore a multitude of scientific avenues ranging from virology, salivary gland biology, autoimmunity, computational biology, and cancers of the head and neck, to name but a few.
Led by Dr. Roger Fillingim, the IMPART T32 supports 4 Postdoctoral trainees as they draw upon the resources of the Institute of Aging and the Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence, to address the biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying the experience of chronic pain in older adults.
Drs Mark Atkinson and Benjamin Keselowsky designed the T1D T32 to advance the production of innovative therapeutics for T1D care. By blending medical knowledge and engineering technology, they also hope to produce trainees capable of finding means to prevent/reverse the disease. The T1D T32 supports 4 PhD trainees, each for 2 years (unless they win an F award, as many do!).
One of UF’s newest training programs, led by Drs Gilbert Upchurch and Scott Berceli, provides a rich research training environment for 4 Surgical Residents. The goal of the program is to train future academic surgical faculty poised to develop cures and prevention strategies for vascular diseases.
Drs Dawn Bowers and David Vaillancourt are training the next generation of investigators to address the impacts of Parkinson’s Disease, dystonia, and ataxia. Their T32 harnesses new technology like AI along with UF’s established research and clinical settings to offer each of 6 PhD trainees an unparalleled window into the etiology and treatment of these conditions.
Now led by Dr. David Fuller, this T32 trains 6 PhD students to merge basic science and clinical approaches to conduct translational neuromuscular plasticity research. Most alumni have secured independent research funding in academic settings, and a small minority have gone on to careers in industry.
The MBBT T32, led by Dr. Philip Efron, trains 4 surgical residents in the science of inflammation & immunity. Each fellow will spend 2-4 years in clinical research settings, where they will focus on trauma, sepsis syndromes, delayed wound healing and burn wounds.
Dr. Edward Scott designed this T32 around meeting a critical need for researchers who specialize in stem cell medicine. It supports 4 PhD and 2 Postdoctoral trainees. Alumni are about evenly split between academic and industry careers.
Drs Michael Marsiske, Adam Woods, and Glenn Smith facilitate the training of 6 PhD students in non-pharmacological interventions for cognitive aging (CA), mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease. Now in its 18th year, this T32 has launched many research careers at government and academic institutions nationwide.
The 4 PhD trainees supported by this T32, under the leadership of Dr. W. Clay Smith, research current issues in clinical ophthalmology. These studies are enhanced by their exposure to molecular and cellular biology, genetics, biochemistry, biomedical engineering, and machine learning.
UF’s oldest training program provides intensive, short-term (2.5 month) training in research for 20 first year medical students (MS1s) whose projects focus on heart, lung, and blood topics. Now led by Drs Scott Berceli and Matt Gurka, the T35 helps expose new MD students to the wide world of UF research.
Dr. Dietmar Siemann leads UF’s other Team-Based T; like the TL1, it typifies a growing trend among academic institutions to center team-based research skills during a person’s formal education; these skills are in high demand in both industry and academic career settings. This T32 supports 3 PhD and 3 Postdoctoral trainees, all involved in aspects of cancer research.
Part of UF CTSI’s larger CTSA grant, this TL1 program is unique in that two trainees, each from a different College, unite parts of their dissertation research to leverage each other’s scientific know-how. This approach has produced novel research and patents, in addition to equipping its 10 PhD trainees with priceless team-work and professional skills.
Drs Julie Johnson, Stephen Kimmel, and Julio Duarte manage the PARADIGM T32, in which 4 Postdoctoral trainees explore cancer genomics, pharmacogenomics, and other disease genomics to fully capture the internal landscape of human health and pathology.
The Chemosensory T32 was awarded to Dr. Steven Munger in 2018. It supports 4 predoctoral trainees focused on the study of the chemical senses. Trainees focus on the myriad ways in which smell and taste influence behavior, and are uniquely positioned for careers in academia and/or industry.
Awarded to Dr. Todd Manini in 2020, this relatively young T32 addresses the multi-factorial causes and consequences of age-related changes in mobility. 4 Postdoctoral trainees learn to design multi-modal interventions to prevent and rehabilitate mobility impairments in older adults.
Florida ranks second in the nation for new HIV infections per year. This training grant, jointly administered by 3 Health Science Center colleges, trains 4 PhD and 2 Postdoctoral trainees in strategies to reduce the role of alcohol in HIV transmission, and in poor health outcomes for HIV-positive people.
Run by Dr. Linda Cottler, this T32 supports 6 PhD and 3 Postdoctoral trainees as they learn to assess population-level drug use, addiction, and addiction outcomes. Most alumni have remained in academia and are implementing their own research programs.
NIH Training Programs for Undergraduates
Increasing the number of minority and underrepresented SF students in the biomedical and behavioral sciences who go on to transfer to UF and graduate with bachelor’s degrees in biomedical and behavioral science-related disciplines
This program seeks to recruit under-represented trainees from UF’s undergraduate population into biomedical and biobehavioral graduate programs. By so doing, they hope to enrich these programs with a wider variety of backgrounds and viewpoints, all aimed at improving scientific innovation.