This continuation proposal requests support for the Molecular Endocrinology Training Program (METP) at Vanderbilt. Twenty nine faculty members from five basic science departments-constitute the preceptors of the METP. Of this group 25 are established faculty with stable, well-funded programs and training experience and 4 are new investigators. The preceptor group constitutes an unusually diverse and talented group of individuals whose work covers the spectrum of molecular endocrinology. These preceptors conduct research in the general areas of: 1) signal transduction 2) the hormonal regulation of gene expression, 3) metabolic regulation and 4) Stem cells, ( cell development and function. The request for maintaining the current level of 8 predoctoral and 4 postdoctoral trainees is justified on the basis of the number, size and quality of the research programs directed by the preceptors. All METP trainees are appointed upon the advice of an Advisory Committee after being nominated by a preceptor. Postdoctoral trainees have a Ph.D. degree. Rigorous in-depth research training is the focus of both the pre- and postdoctoral training programs. However, the METP also ensures that all trainees receive a broad didactic education. In addition, all METP trainees attend the NIDDK-funded Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center seminar series and meet with the visiting scientists. New additions to the program include (i) a didactic course focusing on the molecular endocrinology of obesity and diabetes, (ii) an Annual METP Day and weekly data clubs to foster interactions between trainees and preceptors, (iii) a post-doctoral trainee mentoring program, and (iv) training in both grant writing as well as laboratory &project management. The Program also provides formal training in the proper use of radioisotopes, in appropriate procedures of dealing with toxic and dangerous materials, and in the responsible conduct in research. METP trainees also have access to a formal career-counseling program. The METP has been successful in attracting and supporting the training of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Relevance: The field of Molecular Endocrinology is of central relevance to multiple human diseases, most notably obesity and diabetes. Continued progress towards understanding and curing these and many other diseases requires the training of the next generation of scientists, which is the goal of this program.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases B Subcommittee (DDK)
Program Officer
Castle, Arthur
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Schools of Medicine
United States
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