The Administrative and Professional Development Core is led by Lucy Liaw and Clifford Rosen, the Principal Investigators of this COBRE program. Our goals as leaders of this COBRE program are to foster and support scientific productivity and collaboration, enhance and coordinate our research infrastructure, seek out and expand scientific expertise, and actively oversee and monitor a professional development program. To accomplish these goals, this Core will 1) provide leadership and scientific expertise in the area of mesenchymal tissue differentiation and signaling and neural interactions in metabolic health and disease, 2) establish a core research group consisting of junior investigators supported by scientific and career mentors, 3) enhance scientific core facilities to support state-of-the-art research methodologies, and 4) administer a collaborative pilot project program. The COBRE consists of four thematically linked projects, and each project leader has two senior research mentors who are experts in the field. Additional advisory networks include an External Advisory Committee consisting of scientific experts and experienced program leaders, and a Steering Committee composed of scientific experts and stakeholders in biomedical research in Maine. Our clinical colleagues at Maine Medical Center will provide translational opportunities and important perspective and guidance on clinical challenges in the areas of metabolic health and disease. To support the advancement of our junior investigators and core facility leaders, we have dedicated professional development resources to support courses, workshops, and an innovative scientist leave program to foster collaboration and training. All of these strategies will support project and core leaders in achieving the benchmarks that are clearly defined within our Center. A robust evaluation program will help promote positive long-term outcomes.
The specific aims of this Core and the overall program are:
Specific Aim 1. Provide the leadership, governance, and advisory network to establish a new scientific program in mesenchymal progenitor cell biology and neural signaling to gain novel insights into the mechanisms underlying metabolic health and disease.
Specific Aim 2. Provide project and mentorship support to launch the careers of promising junior investigators within this scientific program and help ensure their long-term scientific success as independent researchers.
Specific Aim 3. Enhance the capabilities of our core facilities to support our COBRE investigators and other institutional and external researchers, and to stimulate innovative research methodologies and new collaborations.
Specific Aim 4. Enhance our existing, COBRE-supported pilot project programs to focus on translational opportunities related to metabolic disease.