The objective of the Children's Nutrition Research Center Training Program is to provide the didactic structure and mentoring for M.D. and Ph.D. fellows who are committed to academic careers in the broad area of nutrition during pregnancy, lactation, and infancy through adolescence, which includes the spectrum from basic, translational and clinical research to evidence-based medicine. This program will provide the focus and discipline to develop an outstanding training program for not only the postdoctoral fellows supported by this grant but also the rest of the CNRC fellows who are engaged in our research enterprise. Our strength lies in the intellectual and physical resources available in the CNRC. The CNRC is the largest free-standing center whose primary mission is pediatric nutrition. It has a faculty of 68 individuals focused on a broad spectrum of nutritional research from dietary requirements and molecular regulation of metabolism, to epigenetic outcomes of nutritional conditions. In addition, Baylor College of Medicine and one of the largest Departments of Pediatrics in the country provide established, peer-review funded investigators with broad disciplinary expertise and a track record of mentoring, and excellent research resources, programs and facilities. The training plan will: 1) facilitate the development of the trainees'individual didactic and research training programs, 2) provide stipends to protect time for the program, 3) provide a well-defined curriculum and broad education opportunities, 4) ensure positive, successful and sustained mentor matches, and 5) make available the resources of the CNRC and BCM to facilitate trainees'research activities. The proposed program has 20 active and successful clinical and basic science investigators as mentors. The existing grand rounds, seminar series, journal club and other learning opportunities will provide the framework for the didactic core of the program. Over the last 15 years we have successfully used this approach to mentored research training for the pediatric faculty in the K12 Child Health Research Center grant, which has fostered the career development of 66 physician investigators, 82% of whom remain in academic medicine, and reflects our commitment to the training of young scientists. The funding of this T32 will help sustain our training program for bright and motivated nutritional scientists who will be instrumental in improving the health and care of the current and next generation of children.
This is a 5-year proposal for a T32 training grant for postdoctoral fellows carrying out research in the Children's Nutrition Research Center, a USDA/ARS supported facility, affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. This grant will help refine and improve the educational and research experience of not only those who are funded under its auspices but all of the postdoctoral fellows and associates in our nutrition center.