This renewal application requests continued support of our NIH Institutional training grant (T32) in Pediatric Endocrinology at Columbia University, College of Physicians &Surgeons (CUMC). This grant will allow the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology to continue to 1) enhance and develop research training opportunities in pediatric endocrinology 2) meet the national priorities of training investigators in pediatric endocrinology who will be available to assume leadership roles in clinical/laboratory based research 3) create a cadre of pediatric endocrinologists whose future academic careers will help fill the critical shortage of investigators in pediatric diabetes/obesity and 4) prepare investigators to meet the continuing national health priorities/objectives including Diabetes, Maternal Infant and Child Health, and Overweight. These goals are achieved by completion of three years of training in our ACGME approved Pediatric Endocrinology fellowship. Funding is requested only for the two years devoted to research in fields relevant to pediatric endocrinology. The five areas of investigation are Clinical and Molecular Diabetes/Obesity, Interrelationships and Disorders of Androgen/Growth Factors/Lipid Metabolism, Neuroendocrinology, Body Composition and Metabolic Bone Disease, and Genetics/Cell Biology, as related to Pediatric Endocrinology. The program includes training in biostatistics, epidemiology, ethics and human research, grant writing, pharmacokinetics, molecular and cellular biology, with required didactic coursework. The training faculty includes 22 scientific mentors, 11 consultative faculty, 1 biostatistician/epidemiologist, and 1 Associate Dean of Pediatric Research, all from multiple interrelated divisions. The institution's commitment to research is exemplified by Columbia having been designated a DERC, and having received an original CTSA grant for translational research. This application is augmented by an NIH supported GCRC, a Masters Program in Patient Oriented Research and Clinical Research Methods, and a CTSA supported K12 Mentored Career Development Program. CUMC is committed to the recruitment of women and minority applicants. This request is made for continued funding of 3 fellowship trainee positions per year for a 5 year award.
More physician scientists are needed to define the pathophysiology of Pediatric Endocrine disease and to allow for the development of new treatments. Unfortunately, the number of T32 training grants in Pediatric Endocrinology remains limited. Although our program is young, our graduates have begun to fill voids and assume academic leadership roles in pediatric endocrinology in order to better understand and ultimately cure disorders targeted as national public health priorities, including pediatric diabetes and obesity.
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