The primary objective of this T32 renewal proposal is to continue the University of Minnesota (UM) Pediatric Endocrinology Program's tradition of guiding pediatric endocrinology fellows into academic careers, by providing intensive training in basic, translational or patient-oriented science. Our secondary objective is to provide an environment that will facilitate the successful advancement of women into academic careers. The program has been highly successful in achieving its goals. From its inception in 2004 through the summer of 2013, we will have graduated 7 fellows from the 3 year training program, all of whom are women and 6 of whom have gone on to University faculty appointments. One is an Associate Professor and two others are expected to achieve this rank within the next couple years. One is our current 3rd year fellow, who will be joining our faculty after she finishes training this summer. Our current 1st and 2nd year fellows, both women interested in academic careers, will continue in the program, and exceptional new fellows have been chosen for 2013 and 2014. Fellows are selected based on a demonstrated desire to pursue research training. They may follow either a clinical/translational or a basic science path, and those who choose the former obtain a Masters in Clinical Research degree to formally and rigorously prepare them for a scholarly career. We work closely with incoming fellows to join their research interests with available opportunities and experienced mentors who can support their training and provide guidance for advancement to the next phase of their academic careers. The core group of senior faculty mentors are well established investigators, selected for their ability to impart a culture of responsible, rigorous, and robust science, as is the tradition of the UM. Numerous and varied research opportunities are available. The program has particular research strengths in the critical public health domains of diabetes, obesity, and metabolism. Members of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology enjoy a strong tradition of scientific collaboration with other division within the Department of Pediatrics, other departments within the UM, and other institutions including the Mayo Clinic and the International Diabetes Center. This provides fellows with a rich environment for scientific collaboration. The program trains physician scientists in the spectrum of skills necessary to be well-grounded in the fundamental underpinnings of their research area by the completion of fellowship so they are ready to enter a junior faculty academic research position.
Public Health Relevance Pediatric endocrine diseases such as obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes profoundly impact the future of both the affected individuals and society as a whole. There is an urgent public health need to educate physician scientists to tackle these critical problems through innovative scientific discovery and its translation into clinical practice. T32 funding since 2004 at the University of Minnesota has allowed a group of experienced mentors with extensive research experience to successfully train the next generation of academic pediatric endocrinologists.
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