The goal of the Interdepartmental Training Program in Cellular and Molecular Endocrinology at Johns Hopkins is to expand the pool of well-trained and productive investigators in the biomedical sciences related to endocrinology. The Program Directors work with a Steering Committee to choose candidates from two pools of talented individuals: 1) endocrine fellows who have completed one year of clinical training, and 2) M.D., M.D.&Ph.D. or Ph.D. applicants who have an interest in fundamental laboratory training. The environment for research related to endocrinology at Johns Hopkins University is rich with resources including the Divisions of Adult and Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, the depth and breadth of related research in the basic sciences, the JHU-UMD Diabetes Research Center (DRTC), the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR, funded by the CTSA), and the Center for Metabolism and Obesity Research. The program has been able to recruit the most qualified candidates through a process that stresses diversity. Selection is based not only on the individual's qualifications and interests, but also on their potential and commitment to applying fundamental science to clinical problems. The mentoring program is structured with a strong fundamental knowledge base that is individually tailored for basic and translational research in endocrinology. The training program consists of at least two years of research under the direction of the most qualified and talented mentors at Johns Hopkins in endocrinology and relevant disciplines. Trainees participate in an innovative didactic curriculum that consists of research seminars, data/journal clubs, and formal courses. Fellows will also be trained in the ethical conduct of research, have well defined milestones for accomplishing scientific goals, and have regular meetings with mentors, the steering committee and others in the scientific community. Training programs in written and oral communication and leadership are instituted as well as an evaluation system for fellows and mentors. The availability of the ICTR and mentors with translational research protocols provides trainees with an opportunity to develop clinical research protocols that complement their laboratory studies. The major goal of this program is to train academic endocrinologists who function as independent laboratory scientists creating research plans that address contemporary endocrine problems. Anticipated outcomes include excellence in training, understanding and coherently articulating, in the form of grant proposals, the scientific challenges and clinical translation in endocrinology, and competency in manuscript writing. With these elements, we commit to continue nurturing a cadre of potential faculty that will discover and expand knowledge and become future leaders in the field of endocrinology.
The incidence of endocrine disorders, including diabetes and obesity, has experienced a striking increase in children and adults at a time when there is a critical, severe shortage of qualified endocrinologists. This award proposes to fund a training program to develop the next generation of physician-scientists in research in endocrinology. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has the resources required to foster the training and career development of physician-scientists who are poised to undertake these research challenges.
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