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The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions has had an NIH funded training grant designed to foster "Research Training in Neuro-Oncology" since 1987. Although this 2 or 3 year research fellowship was originally designed to prepare neurosurgeons for academic careers in neuro-oncology, we have recently received additional NIH funding to expand our training program to include radiation therapists, medical and pediatric oncologists, neurologists, and others committed to an academic career in neuro-oncology. In addition, this new funding has expanded the number of training positions available and added formal course requirements to the fellowship. The creation of the Neuro-Oncology Branch at the National Institutes of Health in 2000 provides an enormous number of unique opportunities for clinical and laboratory training in neuro-oncology. The Neuro-Oncology Programs at the NIH and Johns Hopkins have decided to pool their combined resources for fellowship training in neuro-oncology as of July, 2001. Thus, this brochure presents a description of the combined Johns Hopkins and NIH Neuro-Oncology Programs.
Applicants with M.D. degrees who have completed at least one year of postdoctoral training toward board certification in their sub specialty and are committed to a career in academic neuro-oncology are candidates for this research fellowship. Applicants are selected on the basis of merit. Each trainee is provided with a unique two or three year program. In addition to their laboratory experiences and formal course work, the trainees attend clinical and research conferences, seminars, and courses relevant to neuro-oncology, their research activities, and their needs as future academicians.
The major features of this training program include
- Scrupulous supervision of fellow training, education, and career development
- A carefully considered set of seven required courses to be taken during the fellowship to ensure that each trainee receives formal instruction in biostatistics, epidemiology, clinical and laboratory research methods, biomedical writing, neuroanatomy, and the responsible conduct of research
- Extensive research opportunities with established funded investigators from multiple specialties who routinely collaborate on laboratory and clinical investigations in neuro-oncology
- Comprehensive research facilities that are readily available to fellows in participating investigator laboratories at the NIH and at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
- The trainees are immersed in the multidisciplinary approach and activities at the NIH and Johns Hopkins. They are formal rotations with neurosugeons, medical and pediatric oncologists, neurologists, radiation therapists, and neuropathology. They will also participate in the clinical and research conferences. In addition, they will have peers from multiple disciplines working with them in the neuro-oncology laboratories
- There are a broad range of readily available, appropriate educational activities in clinical research methodology and the principles of medical oncology, and radiation therapy at the NIH and Johns Hopkins
- A productive, stable, and cohesive training faculty that foster multidisciplinary research and serve as appropriate role models for physicians seeking an academic career in neuro-oncology
- An outstanding record of training fellows in neuro-oncology, and the involvement of an experienced Training Grant Steering Committee to provide continual reassessment of activities of the training grant
Fellowship candidates will be identified, selected and assigned a fellowship advisor who is a member of the Steering Committee. After extensive discussion on the research interest of the fellow, he or she will be formally linked to one of the participating laboratories. The fellow, with the help of his research supervisor and other appropriate participating faculty, will prepare a tentative research plan and present this to the Neuro-Oncology Training Program's Steering Committee. This committee will review and must accept the research proposal.
The strength of this research training program is the result of the following important factors
- There is a strong institutional commitment to neuro-oncology and the training of fellows in this emerging field at the NIH and Johns Hopkins
- There are excellent investigators and laboratories currently involved in neuro-oncology research at the NIH and Johns Hopkins. The faculty researchers in these laboratories are eager to have trainees join them in laboratory research and to teach them basic science skills
- Excellent academic neurosurgeons, oncologists, radiotherapists, and neurologists, neuropathologists, and neuroradiologists with a primary interest is neuro-oncology, serve as role models and ensure that the trainee's surgical proficiently is maintained. Patient care activities will require no more than 20% of the trainee's time
- The caliber and experience of the supervising faculty preceptors as well as the scientific environment and active resources at the NIH and Johns Hopkins will help to attract high quality applicants and provide them with the necessary skills to become successful academic neuro-oncologists
- This fellowship also covers issues related to the principles of scientific integrity and responsible conduct of research
There is an opportunity to obtain to a masters degree from The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in association with this fellowship.