This training-grant renewal focuses on continuation of support for a program of interdisciplinary research training that interfaces the behavioral and biomedical sciences, with a cross-cutting theme emphasizing prevention and developmental sciences broadly defined. The pre-doctoral training program, which is called the Behavioral-Biomedical Interface Program (BBIP), received training-grant support through the NIGMS "Interface of the Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences" initiative (PAR-06-503). BBIP draws trainees from three units that are heavily involved in the behavioral sciences: Epidemiology, Exercise Science, and Psychology. Many of the behavioral-sciences faculty mentors are working on health-related research problems that are linked to prevention science, the developmental sciences (broadly conceived from a lifespan perspective), or both, including translational research and animal models. Providing the cross-disciplinary training are faculty mentors, laboratory hosts, and program leaders who bring to bear a broad array of disciplines such as biological sciences, epidemiology, exercise science, family and preventive medicine, genetics, geriatrics, environmental health sciences, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology, prevention science, psychology, and quantitative methods/biostatistics. BBIP is designed to provide a cohesive, integrated program where students feel connected and have adequate opportunities and venues for interacting with many program faculty and students across departments. All BBIP trainees complete coursework in genetics, endocrinology, neurobiology/neuroscience, responsible conduct of research, quantitative methods, and an integrative seminar on the interface of biomedical and behavioral research in prevention and developmental sciences, while also completing their disciplinary course requirements. Three laboratory rotations expose trainees to a variety of research methods and perspectives. Trainees and faculty are exposed to seminars that reflect cutting-edge behavioral-biomedical interface, affording opportunities to interact with invited speakers of national and international reputation. The plan includes promotion of effective mentoring, emphasis on professional- scientific development, and tracking of the trainees during and after program completion on multiple dimensions to evaluate the program. This training program is designed to build capacity with respect to behavioral scientists well versed in biomedical sciences to more effectively contribute to research aimed at understanding and preventing significant health disorders and conditions, and at promoting positive health outcomes throughout the lifespan.
This training grant supports the Behavioral-Biomedical Interface Program, which helps to prepare future behavioral scientists to be better equipped to address the complex challenges inherent in health research. Pre-doctoral trainees in public health and psychology disciplines acquire important foundations of biological and biomedical subject matter related to the brain, hormonal functioning, and genetics. This endeavor will contribute scientists to the workforce who are able to contribute significantly to multidisciplinar teams working to better understand and prevent health disorders and conditions of major societal import.
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