The Columbia University Diabetes Research Center was established in May 2003. As the focus of diabetes research at the largest academic medical center in the largest U.S. metropolitan area, the Columbia DRC promotes interactions among members of an outstanding research base, integrating basic and translational diabetes research with existing institutional centers of excellence in obesity, atherosclerosis, neurobiology, and cardiovascular biology. The DRC fosters translation of basic research advances, clinical training, epidemiology, and?through its partnership with the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center?encourages diabetes- related philanthropy. The Biomedical Research Base is comprised of 61 NIH-, ADA- and/or JDRF-funded investigators at Columbia, and 2 associate members at sister institutions in New York City. The DRC supports four technical Core facilities: Translational Biomarker Analytical Core (B); Advanced Tissue Pathology Imaging Core (E); Mouse Metabolic Function & Phenotyping Core (F); Cytometry & Cell Sorting Core (G); and an Administrative Core that coordinates the activities of these service Cores. Additionally, the DRC makes available funding for young investigators through a Pilot/Feasibility grant program (PF), and provides established scientists in other research areas at Columbia University - and in neighboring institutions - with the opportunity and support to enter the diabetes field through this program. The DRC supports Program Enrichment activities designed to increase the awareness of diabetes research in the scientific/academic community at Columbia University; it also promotes interactions with academic institutions in the greater New York area. The Administrative Core provides overall logistical support and programmatic leadership, financial oversight and integration of research efforts, shared core facilities, and PF program administration. During the past funding cycle, the DRC has endeavored to advance NIDDK?s mission in diabetes by: (i) providing state-of-the-art core facilities to enhance the research programs of DRC members and contributing to the development of innovative methods for diabetes research and care (ii) raising awareness of and interest in advanced clinical and basic diabetes research at Columbia University and in New York City; (iii) enhancing training and other diabetes-related educational opportunities for students, fellows, academic and community-based physicians, including a highly subscribed summer NIDDK-sponsored summer research program for medical students from around the United States; (iv) attracting new investigators to diabetes research;; (v) fostering a collegial academic environment to facilitate information exchange within the institution and with other DRCs; (vi) providing impetus and resources to translate basic science discoveries into clinical care and community initiatives to improve the health of people with diabetes; and (vii) leveraging NIDDK resources with local and national philanthropic and diabetes advocacy organizations to integrate and expand PF grants, as well as training and educational programs.
The Columbia University Diabetes Research Center continues to facilitate interactions among investigators from different academic backgrounds, providing material and intellectual support for initiatives that broaden our understanding of the causes of diabetes, and improve treatment outcomes; and to underwrite the operation of technical facilities for data acquisition and analysis, training opportunities for young investigators and students, and seeding funds for potentially transformative research projects.
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