CDLD Administration and Mentoring Core

Director: Stephen A. Duncan, D. Phil.

The Administrative & Mentoring (Admin) Core will coordinate the development of a multidisciplinary, thematic biomedical research center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) to advance Junior Investigators’ (JIs) basic science research focused on digestive and liver diseases (see Overall Section for Research Themes). Through the Admin Core, the COBRE in Digestive & Liver Diseases (CDLD) will provide leadership, integration, and operational support to achieve the long-term goal of establishing sustainable infrastructure for a nationally competitive Center. To maximize synergy, the CDLD is highly synergized institutionally as depicted in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Organizational scheme showing major lines of accountability and interaction for the COBRE in Digestive and Liver Disease.
Figure 1. Organizational scheme showing major lines of accountability and interaction for the CDLD.

Leadership & Accountability. Provide leadership, integration, management, prioritization, oversight and accountability for all CDLD projects, cores, activities, services, interactions and dissemination of results. The leadership team includes Dr. Stephen Duncan, Program Director and Admin Core Leader, Dr. Rockey, the Associate Director, and an Executive Committee composed of CDLD core leaders and JI primary mentors. This group will set strategic priorities for the CDLD, implement and oversee mentoring and career development activities and milestones, monitor and evaluate JI progress, identify and address any obstacles to success, identify and recruit future JIs, develop remediation plans, participate in peer review and prioritization of pilot project proposals, and recommend allocation of key assets such as core resources, pilot project funds, and institutional commitments. An Internal Advisory Committee of 6 institutional leaders will provide objective oversight and enhance integration of the CDLD with university strategic priorities. An External Advisory Board of 5 eminent scientists in the field, including COBRE leader(s) from other states, will provide peer review of JI research projects and pilot projects, critical oversight, rigorous program evaluation, and strategic input to maximize the CDLD’s long-term impact and sustainability.

Mentoring & Faculty Development. Foster the ability of our JIs to obtain extramural funding and transition to independent academic research careers focused on digestive and liver disease by providing a comprehensive mentoring platform. The approach is tightly integrated and includes the following key elements: (1) creation of individual career development plans, (2) multiple source mentoring, (3) mentor training, (4) specific assessment of mentor-mentee relationships and JI progress, and (5) technical training and priority access to specialized core resources. In addition, we will expand opportunities for collaboration and career development to other MUSC faculty through our enrichment activities including a seminar series and annual retreat.

Pilot Projects Program (PPP). Develop a robust, competitive, peer-reviewed CDLD Pilot Projects Program to encourage MUSC researchers to investigate diseases of the liver and gastrointestinal tract, expand utilization of CDLD cores, and increase the potential for digestive disease researchers to obtain federal support.

Biostatistical Support. Enhance the effectiveness, rigor and reproducibility of CDLD research by (a) supporting the biostatistical needs of the JIs and other CDLD scientists, (b) ensuring sound experimental design and analysis for all CDLD-supported projects, and (c) developing novel biostatistical methods to enhance the reliability and impact of studies conducted by CDLD investigators.

Center Evaluation. Implement a long-term continuous evaluation plan that includes formative and summative assessments and specific milestones to strengthen the Center, the scientists, and their research