There is strong junior investigator interest and senior investigator expertise in cellular transport physiology at Marshall University's School of Medicine (MUSOM). Many of the innumerable health disparities of West Virginia/Central Appalachia (WV/CA) have their roots in widespread obesity, which is epidemic in the region. At the epicenter of these disparities, MUSOM is well positioned to address this. Thus, the overall goal of this new Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) application is to promote cellular transport physiology research in obesity related diseases by the next generation of biomedical investigators and to enhance the necessary infrastructure to accomplish this at the MUSOM. The Appalachian Center for Cellular transport in Obesity Related Disorders (ACCORD) will serve as the academic home for this COBRE. It will leverage existing resources such as the WV IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE), excellent core facilities, and new institutional resources to train the junior investigators. Every COBRE project is hypothesis-driven; with each addressing a novel cellular transport alteration in a distinct obesity related condition, and each utilizing innovative complementary state of the art experimental approaches. A comprehensive and interactive mentoring plan with attention to the individualized needs of each junior investigator, and outstanding senior investigators as mentors, that is evaluation driven will train the junior investigators to become independent scientists. Novel hands-on mentoring and networking opportunities will further enhance the training of junior investigators. In order to sustain these many training opportunities, while addressing one of the most prevalent diseases, obesity, at the heart of many health disparities in WV/CA and nationwide, new resources (space, funding and faculty positions) have been committed to ACCORD by the institution. In turn, ACCORD, to enhance institutional cellular transport in obesity related disorders biomedical research capacity, will develop new resources as future Cores (e.g. Biostatistics and Study Design and Mentoring and Workforce Development preCores) and provide pilot funding. This ACCORD COBRE proposal is critical for WV/CA, as it focuses on a highly significant and extremely timely research problem. It is innovative because it studies cellular transport abnormalities in obesity related diseases, unique from any other COBRE. Thus, the novel projects of this COBRE will likely identify novel targets that can potentially be modeled as new therapeutics to ameliorate and/or prevent obesity related disorders not only in WV/CA, but across the country.

Public Health Relevance

Obesity is a ubiquitous disorder contributing to many health care disparities in WV, Appalachia and the United States. This new Center for Biomedical Research Excellence, the Appalachian Center for Cellular transport in Obesity Related Disorders (ACCORD) has been established to promote cellular transport research emphasizing obesity related diseases. The primary goal of ACCORD will be to mentor the next generation of biomedical investigators and enhance the necessary infrastructure to study cellular transport physiology in obesity related disorders that may lead to new therapeutics to ameliorate and/or prevent obesity and obesity- related disorders.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
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Gao, Hongwei
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Marshall University
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United States
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Racine, Holly L; Meadows, Chad A; Ion, Gabriela et al. (2018) Heat-Induced Limb Length Asymmetry Has Functional Impact on Weight Bearing in Mouse Hindlimbs. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 9:289