The Pediatric Endocrinology Research Training Program at the University of Chicago will train pediatric physician-scientist leaders in the investigation of endocrine diseases. This training program will help fill the national shortage of physician-scientists in the area of pediatric endocrinology. Two research training slots are requested in this competitive renewal application so that two trainees can be entered annually into a two-year research training program. Thus, this program is for trainees who have had introductory laboratory and course work in their initial year of pediatric endocrinology training and have developed a research project to which they are prepared to dedicate 80% effort for the two-year training period. The training is based in a combined Pediatric-Adult Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism unit, the Institute for Endocrine Discovery and Clinical Care which is now 6 years old. We are unique in the country with a fully integrated section that is a major training institution of dual boarded physician scientists in pediatric and adult endocrinology. The Senior Training Faculty numbers 15 investigators from four University departments (Medicine, Pediatrics, Human Genetics, Health Studies) who carry out a broad range of endocrine-related clinical and basic research supported by a substantial base of NIH and other peer-reviewed research grants including 27 R-awards, 2 K- awards, 5 P-awards and 6 U-awards. Each is an established investigator. In addition, the program is aided by the participation of 10 Associate Training Faculty and 5 additional resource training faculty from the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, Ob/Gyn and Health Studies. The University provides a rich environment of other faculty and physical resources. Trainees are selected on the basis of prior individual accomplishments including prior research training and experience as well as commitment to an academic research career. Trainees select a basic and clinical research mentor and an advisor, and the trainee and mentors jointly identify a primary and secondary research project. Trainees then undergo at least 3 years of training in the research laboratory of the preceptor(s), during which time they assume a progressively greater responsibility for developing research hypotheses, designing experiments, analyzing the data and preparing abstracts and scientific manuscripts. This research training occurs within the framework of a required core curriculum consisting of courses that describe and review current research methodology and research advances as well as statistical analysis of research data. The setting is one that emphasizes translational research and timely monitoring of trainee progress.
The Pediatric Endocrinology Research Training Program at the University of Chicago has as its main objective to training of highly qualified physician-scientist leaders capable in the use of a variety of modern experimental techniques that will enable them to translate fundamental discoveries into improved medical care of diabetes and other endocrine disorders in the community. The University's strengths in community research, bioinformatics, molecular biology and clinical care posit the training program to train the very best students who will have an impact on the health and well-being of society.
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