In addition to academic and clinical training, our fellowship program provides a structured, supervised research experience that includes 3 months of protected research time in the first year, 7 months in the second year and 8 months in the third year.
The first year includes a series of didactic lectures on experimental design and data collection and analysis. You’ll have opportunities to learn laboratory techniques by observing and participating in current research projects. You’ll also attend a mandatory statistics course that includes lectures on experimental design.
To enhance your research experience, you’ll work with a mentor chosen from our critical care faculty. Thomas Shaffer, MSE, PhD, Director of the Center for Pediatric Lung Research, also shares his knowledge and experience with our trainees and sometimes serves as a mentor.
Your mentor will follow your progress and supervise the research process from hypothesis through experimental design, use of laboratory methods, data collection, analysis, presentation, and finally to abstract/poster presentation and manuscript preparation.
You’ll meet with your research mentor for at least 1 hour per week during research months and with the program director every 6 months. You’ll also report on your progress at monthly departmental research meetings.
The Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children Life Science Center has current approval from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) and houses the research facilities for the duPont Hospital for Children. The center has the necessary facilities to house both large and small animals.
Our department has a research laboratory within the Life Science Center. The center is fully equipped with all necessary equipment, including invasive catheters, mechanical ventilators and respiratory monitoring equipment, intubation and tracheostomy equipment, and hemodynamic monitoring equipment. Many hospital and research departments have laboratory space within this building, and collaboration and borrowing of necessary equipment is easy and common.
In addition to this laboratory, the 2,500-square-foot laboratory of Dr. Thomas Shaffer will be available. Supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other funding sources, his lab is outfitted with Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT) equipment, hemodynamic flow transducers, critical care monitors, data recording instruments, computers, image analysis equipment, and cell and muscle bath setups. The lab also offers the capability of running in vivo studies with rats, rabbits, newborn lambs, weanling lambs and adult sheep. The animal research coordinator is Anne Heseck.