A unique and innovative program of training in maternal and child nutrition is proposed at the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, which is the largest academic unit devoted to human nutrition in the country. The long-term objective of this program is to train individuals to conduct research that will fill gaps in integrative research on maternal and child nutrition. The short-term objective is to fill a major gap in training in maternal and child nutrition. These objectives will be accomplished by training 3 predoctoral and 1 postdoctoral researchers to link knowledge from the basic biological sciences to research conducted at the population level as well as to identify and address a variety of important research questions for mothers and their children. To achieve these objectives, trainees will take the course in maternal and child nutrition that has previously trained many current and future leaders in this field as well as a course on molecular nutrition and development and a course on grant writing. All trainees will also participate in a weekly research group meeting along with others interested in this subject. This training program will be delivered by 10 core faculty from the Division of Nutritional Sciences, each with differing yet complementary skills in a wide range of disciplines (including genomics, molecular biology, human physiology and metabolism, and epidemiology), and ample research funding to support the proposed training. Core faculty have extensive experience in collaborating in the supervision of trainee research and a successful record of training in maternal and child nutrition that has been established in 4 prior grants and a related training grant from the Fogarty International Center. Also involved in the proposed program are a group of related faculty from many departments at Cornell. Excellent facilities are available in the Division for the proposed program, including well-equipped laboratories and new animal facilities, an outpatient metabolic unit, an innovative mass spectroscopy facility, and extensive support for statistical computing. Other programs that provide relevant activities and expertise include the Program in International Nutrition, the Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program, and the Center for Vertebrate Genomics.
Improving the health of mothers and young children remains a public health priority in the US and other countries around the world. To achieve national and international goals, new knowledge is needed to develop new solutions to their health problems and translate these solutions into feasible programs. The proposed program will train researchers to meet these needs and, thus, to improve the health of mothers and young children.
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