The Indiana University Diabetes and Obesity Training Program began in 1999 and has been funded for ten years by NIDDK, currently at the level of two pre-doctoral and two post-doctoral trainees. The goal of the program is to provide training to young researchers at an early career stage of their careers, in research that is relevant to diabetes, metabolism, and obesity, an ever growing problem for the health of the nation. The Indiana University School of Medicine is an outstanding forum for such an initiative. Twenty four faculty from six departments will participate as mentors in the program. This group of faculty has a strong training record and has just short of $10M of external funding as PIs, with $3.7M from NIDDK and JDRF. For the upcoming cycle, support for three pre- and two post-doctoral trainees is requested. Pre-doctoral students will take a Minor in Diabetes and Obesity which includes a 3 credit Diabetes and Obesity course that has been recently developed. Post-doctoral fellows will also take the course. Both students and post-doctoral fellows will attend Center for Diabetes Research seminars, will present their results in the same series, and will be encouraged to present their work at national meetings such as the American Diabetes Association scientific sessions. Additionally, they will take a Research Ethics course and a Grant Writing Workshop. The program is sensitive to the issue of diversity and in the past funding cycle has recruited a hispanic and an African American trainee. By training in an environment and culture that gives strong multi-disciplinary support for diabetes research, there is a significant probability that th trainees will sustain an interest in diabetes, even as their specific research interests evolve ove their careers.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the predominant causes of premature loss of life in the United States and other developed countries - the incidence of type 2, as well as type 1, diabetes is on the increase to the extent that diabetes has become one of the major health concerns in the United States. The problem of diabetes and obesity is widely reported by the popular press and other media outlets, and is reaching the consciousness of legislators in congress and the White House. It is important to provide training in the area of diabetes research with the objective of increasing the number of young researchers committed to careers confronting this common disease.
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