The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery is one of eight otolaryngology training programs in the U.S. to receive the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) for interdisciplinary research training in otolaryngology.
Research conducted under this grant is supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, part of the National Institutes of Health, which conducts and supports research in the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language.
The grant provides funding over five years to individual awardees with research training in the basic sciences, in addition to their clinical training as otolaryngologists, that will help them develop the necessary skills to become successful surgeon-scientists in this rapidly evolving field.
This new and highly competitive program is designed to provide otolaryngology residents one additional year of hands-on training as research fellows focused on the study of different research projects related to hearing and communication disorders, disorders of taste and smell, and other important pathologies affecting the upper aerodigestive tract, including head and neck cancers and disorders of swallowing.
"The addition of the fourth resident-research track has elevated the academic standing and reputation of our training program, which will continue to grow with the NIH T32 training grant," said Fred F. Telischi, M.E.E., M.D., FACS, chairman of otolaryngology and professor of neurological surgery and biomedical engineering at the Miller School.
Each resident will train with a group of carefully matched faculty mentors who will design individually tailored programs that encompass a base curriculum and specialized training in one of the focus areas. This approach is designed to enable trainees to mature into independent investigators who can be clinically productive while also making contributions to the practice and science of ear, nose and throat disorders.
"With this grant, a new generation of surgeons is being prepared to transfer the latest scientific knowledge to patients' bedsides and back again to therapeutic research settings." said Xue Zhong Liu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of otolaryngology and vice chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology. "By bringing together an accomplished team of educators and mentors, we can successfully address an unmet need in the preparation of surgeons for a career in research that will ultimately translate to better care and improved outcomes for all who are impacted by disorders of the ear, nose and upper aerodigestive tract."
The University of Miami Health System's Otolaryngology department is ranked 14th in the nation for NIH-funded research as compiled by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research. Liu, the T32 program director, is ranked in the top one percent of NIH-funded surgeon-scientists in otolaryngology.