This proposal seeks continued support for the Yale research-training program in Diabetes Mellitus and Disorders of Metabolism. This program serves as the core source of support for postdoctoral research training in diabetes and endocrinology at the Yale School of Medicine. A major goal of the program is to provide physician-scientists with the research expertise required to pursue clinical, basic and translational research careers in an academic setting. Physician trainees entering the program will have M.D. or M.D./Ph.D degrees and at least 2-3 years of clinical training in internal medicine or pediatrics. Ph.D. scientists are also recruited into the program since we believe an integrated training experience bringing together adult endocrinologists, pediatric endocrinologists and endocrine scientists is necessary to prepare our trainees to participate in modern multidisciplinary research groups. Trainees are selected based on their aptitude and commitment to a research career. The duration of the training period is three years to ensure an in-depth training experience. The cornerstone of the curriculum is the participation of each trainee in a specific research project under the supervision of a designated preceptor and guided by a progress committee composed of 2-3 other members of the training faculty. Potential projects run the gamut from clinical to basic research in 3 primary areas of emphasis: 1) type 1 diabetes, 2) type 2 diabetes, and 3) bone and mineral metabolism. Within these areas, trainees have the opportunity to work with mentors in several basic science departments as well as those in Pediatrics and Medicine. Close interaction among preceptors and trainees within each programmatic area and within several multidisciplinary and interdepartmental research centers administered within the Endocrine Section further enrich the training experience. Multiple educational opportunities including two degree-granting (MS, PhD) programs are available to trainees through the CTSA-funded Yale Center for Clinical Investigation. Instruction is also provided through organized lectures, research seminars and journal clubs. The application requests an additional training slot per year for a total of 6 stipends. This is based on our decision to fully integrate Yale's pediatric and internal medicine training programs in diabetes and metabolism and, therefore, not to seek renewal of the pediatric T32 (DK63703). It is also based on our ongoing track record of attracting an outstanding applicant pool, the high level of research productivity of our training faculty, the expanded research opportunities provided by our diverse faculty and the continued shortage of physician-scientists in both medicine and pediatrics dedicated to research careers in diabetes and metabolic diseases.
Obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis represent a spectrum of increasingly prevalent metabolic diseases that are responsible for a great burden of suffering and death in the US and throughout the world. Academic endocrine researchers are needed to better understand these disorders and to translate research findings into new therapies. Our training program in diabetes and disorders of metabolism is dedicated to providing young physicians and scientists with the research training necessary to tackle these important health problems.
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