This is a competitive renewal for our longstanding Training Program in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases. During the most recent funding cycle, 4 postdoctoral fellows were supported each year. A total of 11 trainees working in 9 different labs have been supported. The program is designed to accommodate both Ph.D. scientists as well as physician scientists with M.D. or M.D, Ph.D. degrees, of whom most enter through the Penn Clinical Fellowship Program in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. Of the postdoctoral trainees supported by this T32 during the last 4 years who are no longer in training, one has a staff position at Merck, two have junior faculty positions at University of Pennsylvania and Long Island Jewish/Hofstra University, respectively and one is in private practice in an academic environment. For the next period, we request additional support to add one more fellow. We also request, for the first time, sufficient funds to support three predoctoral students working in the areas of this program during their third through fifth years of graduate school. At present, there are in laboratories directed by our trainers 29 students working towards their Ph.D. theses, the majority focusing on problems relevant to the mission of this T32 and unsupported by a training grants. Five (26%) are underrepresented minorities. Our 24 training faculty have primary appointments in seven Medical School Departments and consist of 14 professors, 7 associate professors, and assistant 3 professors. Six members of the training faculty are woman and one is African-American. In the last two funding cycles, six faculty members have been removed from the grant and twelve have been appointed to the training grant. Training grant faculty bring to the program expertise in 2-cell development and function, hormone action, physiology, diabetic complications, genetics in humans and model organisms, transcriptional regulation, patient oriented research, epidemiology and biostatistics. This training program continues to provide superb preparation for those scientists committed to careers in research into diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism.
Obesity and diabetes mellitus are reaching epidemic proportions worldwide. In the United States alone, the estimated cost of diabetes in 2007 was $174 billion, including $116 billion in excess medical expenditures and $58 billion in reduced national productivity. The goal of this grant is to help train the next generation physician and basic researchers at the predoctoral and doctoral levels in research into the prevention and treatment of diabetes and other endocrine disorders.
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