There are extensive opportunities for mentored basic, translational, and clinical research experiences throughout the institution. The goal of the mentored research experience is to provide a foundation for a successful transition to a career in academic medicine.
All fellows in pulmonary medicine will select a research mentor and participate in a project of their choosing. In addition to the opportunities to interact with faculty members of the Pediatric Pulmonary Division, there are many opportunities within the College of Medicine and the University to support projects.
Research activities are a primary focus of the second and third years of fellowship training. Underlying our research training program is an integrated research program in CF and related pulmonary disorders, which is supported by Center grants from the NIH and the CF Foundation, as well as a pool of R01 grants to participating investigators. This research training program includes potential mentors from several departments, most of them experienced and federally-funded. For example, the faculty of the Pulmonary Division in the Department of Internal Medicine perform basic and translational research in a variety of areas relevant to pediatric lung disease and the interdisciplinary Inflammation Program studies topics relevant to pulmonary medicine. Dr. Ahrens of our division leads a CF Foundation funded Therapeutics Development Center network Center, which conducts multicenter clinical research projects in CF.
The Center for Gene Therapy of Cystic Fibrosis and other Genetic Diseases is a multidisciplinary NIH funded Center for basic and translational studies. The Iowa Center for Gene Therapy, established in 1998 though joint funding by NIH/NIDDK and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, is one of three such centers in the United States. The overriding goal is to promote research and training on gene therapy approaches for treating cystic fibrosis and other devastating inherited diseases. The center focuses on serving as a resource to facilitate interdisciplinary interactions between diverse basic and clinical science research laboratories, and provides a forum for impromptu and formal exchanges of information and ideas.
Extensive research facilities are in buildings adjacent to the hospitals and clinics. There is a federally funded Clinical Research Center that is extensively utilized for patient oriented translational research.