The purpose of the T32 PCDPTN institutional research training program, funded through the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA), is to help ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is available in an area that currently has a limited number of researchers. Without an increase in the pool of investigators trained in new "-omics" technologies and their application to pediatric therapeutics, integration and synergistic interaction will not be possible, and the overall goal of personalized pediatric therapeutics will not be realized.
This collaborative network—which allows interdisciplinary collaboration of clinical, translational, and basic investigators who research pediatric therapeutics—is mandated through the BPCA 2007 legislation.
Because of the need to increase the number of trained pediatric clinical pharmacologists, NICHD and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) co-funded six pediatric positions under an existing NIGMS T32 Postdoctoral Clinical Pharmacology Program. An additional position for postdoctoral training in pediatric pharmacoepidemiology was transferred from NICHD's Division of Intramural Population Health Research to this grouping.
In 2011, NICHD supplemented these sites by adding three new programs through its existing own Postdoctoral Research Training in Pediatric Clinical and Developmental Pharmacology T32 program. Together these 11 programs form the PCDPTN.
Goals of the PCDPTN are to:
- Provide training in pediatric clinical pharmacology
- Stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration among clinical, translational, and basic researchers in pediatric therapeutics
- Enable the development of a pediatric pharmacology section within the adult clinical pharmacology department
Some of the PCDPTN's activities include harmonization of fellows' core curriculum, development of strategies to bridge the gap between adult and pediatric therapeutics, a journal club, and coordination of a weekly lecture series about topics of relevance to pediatric pharmacology.
The PCDPTN journal club is a monthly event designed to:
- Stimulate interactions across disciplines
- Foster the process of using basic and translational research to answer clinically related issues
- Offer different pediatric subspecialties the chance to discuss current literature in their fields of interest
- Allow formation of special interest groups
- Bridge pediatric and adult pharmacology
- Develop a repository of published pediatric pharmacology papers
- Provide ideas for future research projects
An Annual Meeting allows new fellows in the Network to learn from and receive updates from returning fellows. This meeting also provides an opportunity for fellows to meet other trainees in the program, learn about research at other institutions, and hear presentations by experts in the field.
The PedPharmHub site (login required) offers a virtual hub for PCDPTN fellows to interact across sites.