Since 1995, our goal has been to develop the next generation of independent investigators. Trauma research remains very specialized but nationally vital area. Quite different from pre-doctoral and post-doctoral programs, this unique program attempts to build surgical INVESTIGATORS. (Aware of important significant research areas/problems, questioning current paradigms, skilled to attack the problem, publishing and responsive to peer-review, enjoy the process). The feed stock of this program is surgical residents in the middle of their clinical specialization (PGY 2 -3) who show inclination or have been guided towards independent investigation. A necessary part of this process is to continue the support for decades into the future. This includes psychological support sharing data, and helping vett grants right up to rehire into this program itself.
Our trauma research training program continues to derive from the surgical research laboratories of the Departments of Surgery at the University of Colorado Hospital (formerly University Hospital) and Denver Health and Hospital Authority (formerly Denver Health Medical Center and Denver General Hospital). Although trainees do spend substantial blocks of time in non-surgical laboratories, we believe that continuous programmatic focus/critique/stimulation/support is more practical and feasible if the trauma trainee is based WITHIN the Department of Surgery. The University of Colorado Denver is structured so that access to other disciplines is welcomed. Indeed, Drs. Dinarello (Medicine), Silliman (Pediatrics), and Sauaia (Preventive Medicine and Biometrics) routinely attend our weekly Friday morning conferences and continuously analyze/critique/support multiple trainees simultaneously. We have developed an integrative approach to the mechanisms of post-injury organ failure. We see this as an opportunity to immerse young academically oriented surgeons into both basic and clinical investigations of burn and traumatic injuries.