Established in 1975, the Diabetes and Related Metabolic Diseases Training Grant at Washington University has a track record of training biomedical scientists who have made important contributions. The goal of this Training Program is to identify individuals of diverse backgrounds who are committed to a career in biomedical/clinical research, and provide them with a mentored postdoctoral research experience for a minimum of two years that will establish a foundation for an independent research program capable of translational research in diabetes and related metabolic diseases. In recognition of the growing impact of diabetes and related disorders on Americans as well as the shrinking pool of young investigators trained to pursue clinically relevant diabetes reserch, this training program has been re-structured to satisfy the need for diabetes researchers committed to translating findings at the bench to new therapies in the clinic with the potential to improve diabetes care. Changes include focusing the scientific efforts of the Program Faculty, emphasing translational research training (including training with a clinical context to PhD scientists in addition to MD and MD/PhD scientists), instituting a regular research symposium, establishing a formal mentoring system that includes a Career Development Committee for each fellow, expanding didactic training, instituting a formal evaluation system for the program, instituting formal training in ethics, developing targeted recruitment strategies to improve our yield of promising physician scientists, and developing a minority recruitment strategy with the assistance of the Associate Dean and Director of the Office of Diversity. This Training Program combines a talented and dedicated faculty, a substantial pool of promising trainees, and a culture of interdisciplinary scientific diversity and collaboration creating an ideal environment for training in Diabetes and Related Metabolic Diseases.
This application is directly relevant to public health and the mission of the NIDDK. Diabetes and related metabolic diseases extract a terrible burden on the American public despite staggering health care expenditures for these problems. Training biomedical scientists to perform paradigm-shifting translational research has the potential to decrease this burden through development of novel therapies.
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