Our postdoctoral training program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is a central component of the Center for Child Behavior and Nutrition Research and Training. The Center has a specific research focus on the behavioral, biologic, and nutritional aspects of pediatric chronic illnesses and other nutrition-related health issues. The Center's T32 training program, funded by NIDDK in 2003, formalized cross-disciplinary training at the postdoctoral level with the aim of training the next generation of academic leaders. The training program integrates the expertise of faculty members across the Divisions of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology;Endocrinology;Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition;Pulmonary Medicine;Pediatric Surgery;General and Community Pediatrics;Biostatistics and Epidemiology;and the Cincinnati Diabetes and Obesity Center. Trainees acquire: (1) expertise in the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of pediatric chronic medical conditions in which dietary modification is a central component of disease management;(2) knowledge of """"""""state of the art"""""""" as well as innovative means of assessment of physical (e.g., body composition, bone mass, disease progression), nutritional (e.g., via electronic data capture), and psychosocial (e.g., quality of life, family functioning, functional behavior) status across the pediatric age range;and (3) knowledge of nutrition, behavioral, and clinical trials science necessary to develop empirically-tested prevention models and clinical interventions that improve dietary adherence, nutritional status, and long-term health and quality of life outcomes for youth. Candidates have backgrounds in clinical psychology or pediatric medical subspecialties (e.g., Endocrinology, Gastroenterology). The focal elements of the training program are mentored experiences within interdisciplinary research programs with our NIH-funded research faculty. These mentored research experiences include the fellow's participation as both an interdisciplinary team member, as well as their initiation of a mentored interdisciplinary independent research project. Based on the fellow's prior educational pathway (PhD, MD), further training is obtained via practical and applied experiences and their engagement in didactics, seminars, and academic coursework tailored to an individual's training needs and career goals (e.g., behavioral science, nutrition science, neuroendocrinology, clinical trials methodology, advanced biostatistics, grant-writing, responsible conduct of research, Masters Degree in Clinical and Translational Research). As evidenced by the excellent progress of our program graduates, these training opportunities provide a solid foundation from which young clinical researchers have already secured, and will continue to successfully transition to, faculty positions in the field of academic medicine and emerge as leaders with NIH-funded clinical research programs that have a significant impact on future pediatric health outcomes. The current renewal application (Years 11-15) for this innovative T32 program requests support for four postdoctoral training positions.
Nutrition and dietary modifications are key components to the management of many pediatric chronic conditions (e.g., obesity, cystic fibrosis, Type 1 and Type II diabetes). While these diseases affect individuals of all ages, many begin in childhood, are often chronic, and may cause significant morbidity and reduced life- expectancy. Disease-specific dietary modifications are often difficult for patients and families to accomplish, and wit few exceptions, there is a lack of robust clinical investigation in how to achieve optimal nutritional outcomes. Clinical investigators with combined expertise in behavioral, biomedical and nutrition science are critically needed to improve health and quality of life outcomes for youth with these pediatric disorders. The T32 postdoctoral training program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center provides a solid foundation from which young clinical researchers have already secured, and will continue to successfully transition to, faculty positions in the field of academic medicine and emerge as leaders with NIH-funded clinical research programs that have a significant impact on future pediatric health outcomes.
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