We propose a training program designed to attract and train pre- and post-doctoral scientists in research on the roles of bioenergetics and oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome. The goals of this training program are to nurture talented young individuals in the areas of basic research and clinical investigation, to teach them to design and perform successful research projects, and to give them a solid background in the ethics and methods of scientific research. The objective of this fellowship is to increase the focus of research on metabolic syndrome, bioenergetics, and oxidative stress within MUSC and to train individuals to become independent investigators and academic faculty with an interest in the area of metabolic syndrome and related diseases. Trainees will be selected from a broad group of candidates. Special efforts will be made to identify minority applicants. The training program is designed to provide experience for two and three years, respectively, of full-time effort for postdoctoral and predoctoral fellows working with a group of talented faculty mentors. Research projects are concentrated in the areas of bioenergetics and oxidative stress as they relate to the various aspects of the metabolic syndrome, including insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemia, hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and consequent tissue injury, especially to the liver and kidney. Weekly conferences with the trainees allow them to present their material to the research community. Additionally, trainees are required to present their research at in-house departmental seminars and submit abstracts to national meetings. Predoctoral students will matriculate through the College of Graduate Studies and follow the course of study for the PhD in Biomedical Sciences. After receiving basic training in cell, molecular, and organismal biology, predoctoral trainees will participate in a graduate course on "Bioenergetics and Oxidative Stress in the Metabolic Syndrome(s)"together with postdoctoral trainees. All trainees will attend required courses in methods in clinical research, responsible conduct of research, and statistics. Trainees will also be offered graduate-level courses on numerous research topics at MUSC to enhance their training experience.

Public Health Relevance

Our program focuses on research training in bioenergetics and oxidative stress related to metabolic syndrome, which is a constellation of clinical conditions, most notably obesity, insulin resistance, Type-2 diabetes, dyslipemia, hypertension, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Affecting about 50 million in the US, metabolic syndrome predisposes atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, stroke and other diseases, so treatment of metabolic syndrome and its manifestations is key to decreasing morbidity and mortality from these diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases B Subcommittee (DDK)
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Densmore, Christine L
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Medical University of South Carolina
Schools of Pharmacy
United States
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