The Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology (ERP) Graduate Training Program is an interdisciplinary endocrine program with a major focus on reproductive biology and physiology, with direct relevance to maternal and child health as well as intrauterine programming and the origins of adult onset disease. This has been achieved using multidisciplinary approaches from molecular biology to comparative animal and increasingly human clinical physiology. In this second funding cycle we continue to make substantial progress in the further development of our training program, particularly with regard to a translational multidisciplinary training environment, strong professional development and a highly successful minority recruitment and training program. The outcomes for all of our Trainees have been outstanding both in publications and placement. The ERP training environment strongly emphasizes the building of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary teams, the members of which are both MD and PhD. To that end we have recently been joined by MD fellows undergoing graduate degree study in a newly developed Degree Fellowship Track created within ERP. While MD candidates are not candidates for support under this T32 Predoctoral application, we wish the reviewers to be aware of its existence. We believe all MD and PhD trainees benefit from a collective 'translational dialogue' of the research projects in hand and such a dialogue promotes the development of both theoretical and practical models for translational work in the future. The end result is a stronger, more vibrant training environment with the continuing recruitment of additional faculty, for all to enjoy. This blended training environment is very much needed if we are to maintain a future pool of interdisciplinary translational research team members at a time of otherwise reduced support for research faculty and increasing demands on clinicians to be in the clinics. Finally we have achieved considerable success in recruiting and graduating students of diversity. While the details of our multifaceted approach are detailed in the proposal, this has been an outstanding success and we have one of the highest levels of URM participation and indeed graduation success, of which we are understandably proud.
Research scientists focused on the fields of pregnancy and reproduction are clearly of value to American public health. Nonetheless the increasing complexity of such research means there may not be enough qualified scientists in the future for our health needs. The ERP Program is one of only a handful of research centers qualified to train these future scientists, and we propose here a training program plan to achieve that goal.
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