This is a competing renewal of a training program that was initially funded in 1999. Since its inception, the primary goal of this training program has been to prepare promising pre-doctoral students for successful careers in nutritional sciences, with a focus on nutrition as a modulator of metabolic disease (obesity, diabetes), cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular disease. In this renewal we capitalize upon our unique academic structure of a recently merged Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences to provide a multi-disciplinary program where graduate students are trained to develop nutritional and/or pharmacologic approaches towards the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. The need for highly trained scientists capable of conducting multidisciplinary research in this area has become critical with the increased prevalence of metabolic diseases in the U.S., and the growing recognition that metabolic disorders underlie chronic diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular disease. We envision that scientists who receive cross-training in nutrition and pharmacology through this multidisciplinary program will have the necessary skill set to tackle these common yet complex disease processes. Twenty-nine training faculty who routinely employ nutritional and/or pharmacologic approaches to understand the metabolic basis of disease will provide training around 4 theme areas (obesity/diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, neuroscience/aging). The goals of the Multidisciplinary Approaches for Metabolic Diseases Training Program are to provide support to a talented and diverse population of graduate students through stipends and individual development plans (IDPs) to prepare them for biomedical careers in the area of metabolic diseases; to provide innovative, multidisciplinary education to promote the essential skills for conducting outstanding research using nutrition and pharmacology-based approaches; to provide a core faculty of established and productive researchers who will serve as mentors and role models for the trainees; to provide a broad-based yet cohesive research environment for trainees, thus fostering further interdisciplinary research; and to provide training in the ethcal conduct of high quality research.
Disorders in metabolism are a common feature of most chronic diseases, especially those on the rise in prevalence in the US. We propose to train future scientists to identify ways to use pharmacological (drugs) and nutritional approaches to prevent and treat metabolic disease based-disorders, including obesity/diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative disease.
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