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LSUHSC faculty shares inside knowledge in book to develop nation's research scientists

New Orleans, LA In his first book, Andrew D. Hollenbach, PhD, Associate Professor of Genetics at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, shares his insider knowledge of how applications for one of the nation's most prestigious and sought-after series of training grants are reviewed, the biases that influence the process, and invaluable tips, insights and key suggestions. A Practical Guide to Writing a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Grant by Andrew D. Hollenbach is published by Academic Press, an imprint of Elsevier.

The Kirschstein training grants, awarded on a competitive basis to students and postdoctoral researchers, play an important role in not only supporting career development, but also increasing the country's supply of scientists with both clinical knowledge as well as skills in basic, translational or clinical research. According to the National Institutes of Health, physicians/clinicians and trained scientists play a vital role in basic biomedical, translational, clinical, behavioral, epidemiologic, prevention, and services research. There is a critical need for physician and clinician-scientists to study human disease through rigorous research.

The application process for Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA series F grants is very different from a typical research grant proposal. It is much more complex and much more involved. Evolving from advising students at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans one on one, to giving presentations, then seminars, a book was the next logical step. The book is Dr. Hollenbach's opportunity on a broader scale to pay forward the experience he's gained through his own professional development and serving as a reviewer on National Institutes of Health study section training review panels. The book, a resource that can be used by anyone anywhere, will not only benefit students and post-docs eligible for Kirschstein training grants, but their mentors and advisors as well.

"Many of these trainees and their mentors are nave of what is required to construct the best training grant they can possibly put together, as I was myself, and as such have grants returned to them, having not been discussed," says Dr. Hollenbach. "The more I saw this happening, the more I realized that I had a unique position from my repeat presence on study section to assist trainees and help them understand the extent of information needed for the application, the purpose of every component of the application, and provide insight into exactly what the reviewers are looking for and the biases and prejudices that exist in the reviewing process."

Dr. Hollenbach, who now holds three patents, continues to conduct basic research on biological mechanisms resulting in the development of cancer, particularly the childhood solid muscle tumor alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) and melanoma. He also continues to teach and mentor health professions students at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans and to serve as an ad hoc reviewer of national and international research journals.

A Practical Guide to Writing a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Grant by Andrew D. Hollenbach is available at the Elsevier Store,, eBay, and a number of other booksellers.


Contact: Leslie Capo
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

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