Rapid advances in scientific knowledge have resulted in unparalleled opportunities for new discoveries that could substantially improve human health and cure disease. A cadre of scientists who can work at the interface between fundamental science and clinical medicine is essential to accomplish this goal. It is the overarching objective of the Northwestern University Program in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hormone Action (NUPEDHA) to enable such research in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. This objective will be accomplished by training basic and clinical scientists in an environment that integrates rigorous fundamental science into a disease-oriented context. An essential component of this training program is the superb, highly interactive training faculty of 13 outstanding mentors whose research focuses on translational science related to endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. The faculty group is comprised of a mixture of senior faculty with extensive training experience and younger faculty who are eager to transfer their knowledge and enthusiasm to trainees about to embark upon one of the most exciting stages of their research careers. The overall program objectives are to 1) provide training in the fundamental biology and integrative physiology of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism in a disease-oriented environment;2) mentor the next generation of investigators who can work at the interface between the laboratory and clinical medicine to ensure that scientific advances are rapidly translated to improve the care of patients with endocrine and metabolic disorders, including diabetes and obesity. The combined training of graduate students, PhDs and Clinical Fellows in Endocrinology and Metabolism emphasizes these objectives as well as the continuum between fundamental science and patient care. The training program contains a core of didactic activities with additional didactic experiences tailored to the needs of each trainee. There are options for training in basic- translational science or clinical research. Trainees in the clinical research pathway are required to enroll in the Northwestern University Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation program. Professional development opportunities include training in manuscript and grant writing, laboratory and project management and pathways to academic success. A rigorous, ongoing program evaluation will be overseen by the Northwestern University Searle Center for Teaching Excellence. NUPEDHA has an outstanding record of accomplishment. Over the past 10 years, NUPEDHA has supported 12 predoctoral trainees and 19 postdoctoral trainees. Sixteen percent of these trainees have been underrepresented minorities. Sixty-three percent of the predoctoral trainees have academic appointments or are in postdoctoral training. Seventy-five percent of the postdoctoral trainees have academic appointments, 50% have independent federal grant support (K99, K23, KL2, K12, Department of Defense) and 25% have appointments in clinician-scholar tracks.
The purpose of this program is to train scientists and physicians who can make scientific discoveries and apply these discoveries to the prevention and treatment of diseases in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. Training this scientific workforce is essential for improving human health.
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