The scientists of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, LSU Ag Center, and the Biotech Center at Rutgers, as part of their collaboration in the BRC, are committed to training in research.
A specific aim of the BRC is to expand the critical mass of investigators addressing botanical research by identifying, recruiting, and mentoring promising young investigators. Thus, a resubmission research training program application titled, "Training in Botanical Approaches to Combat Metabolic Syndrome" is proposed for the BRC. The objective of this proposed training grant is to train both Ph.D. and M.D. postdoctoral fellows who possess graduate training in research methods and laboratory techniques to become productive research scientists capable of establishing scientific careers that further the efforts to understand the role of botanicals on the complex interactions between genetic, molecular and physiological aspects of the metabolic syndrome. Today's researchers need to understand the applications of the molecular and genetic approaches as well as the methods for investigating the function of target genes and the effect specific botanicals may have on these processes. It is difficult to get such a wide oversight or expertise during predoctoral programs. Hence, it is important to provide opportunities at the postdoctoral level for training in complementary areas. Our postdoctoral training will be directed towards this goal, enhancing research interactions between botanical characterization and molecular/genetic/physiologic approaches at both the basic science and clinical research areas. Specifically, we aim to bridge the divide between the plant discovery/characterization approach and the molecular biology/physiological approach. We are requesting 14 full-time Ph.D. or M.D. postdoctoral trainee stipends for the five-year grant period. Trainees will be supported for two to three years. We are requesting five full-time postdoctoral trainee stipends for the initial year of the grant;two entry level and three third year postdocs. Each postdoctoral fellow will be encouraged to develop interdisciplinary research efforts to understand the effect and action of botanicals on components of the metabolic syndrome. The program will take advantage of the cutting-edge technologies and the wide range of research efforts related to botanicals and metabolic syndrome that are available at the Pennington Center and the Biotech Center at Rutgers. This broad-based training program will enable trainees to establish successful research careers in academia, academic medicine, government agencies and in the private sector in the study of botanicals and metabolic disease.

Public Health Relevance

Metabolic syndrome is defined as a condition whose major features consist of obesity, insulin resistance, and development of type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is now reaching epidemic proportions worldwide, and it represents one of the most important public health problems today. The Botanicals Research Center (BRC) is dedicated to providing a comprehensive evaluation of botanicals in addressing the pathophysiologic mechanisms that lead to the development of insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1-LD (28))
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Rivera-Rentas, Alberto L
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Lsu Pennington Biomedical Research Center
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Baton Rouge
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