The Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Training Program (T32) at Duke University Medical Center consists of an interactive matrix of clinical and basic science divisions, departments and centers. The mission of this program is to develop the next generation of biomedical researchers in Endocrinology and Metabolism. The trainees will be either board- eligible or certified physicians who have trained in Internal Medicine or Pediatrics, or non- physician science graduates who wish to pursue careers in endocrine/metabolic research. The Endocrinology T32 has a long history of training successful investigators in diabetes, metabolic bone disease, and other areas of endocrine/metabolic research. A substantial majority (83% over the past 10 years who are not still in training) are in academic positions at major medical centers across the US and abroad. Most are in positions with substantial research components, supported by federal, foundation, or industry grants, and the remainder have significant teaching responsibilities. They have almost 300 publications since they began their Endocrinology research training. The program includes training opportunities in clinical, translational, and basic research. Seven different research training modules have been designed to allow the trainee exposure to some of the most important areas of endocrine/metabolic research today, and afford the opportunity for training with outstanding scientists and mentors. These modules range from those solely devoted to basic science (Nuclear Receptor Signaling and Pharmacology; G Protein-Coupled Receptors) to those with basic and clinical/translational arms (Diabetes, Obesity and Nutrient Metabolism; Metabolic Components of Cardiovascular Disease; Bone and Mineral Metabolism; Pediatric Endocrinology; Women's Health). Trainees are jointly mentored by basic and clinical research scientists to promote broader understanding of research concepts, and also attend didactic teaching programs designed to provide the tools necessary for success in a research career. Training is aimed at promoting the understanding, design and use of biochemical, physiological and molecular biological approaches to endocrine and metabolic problems, as well as proficiency in laboratory and clinical investigation techniques. Individuals who complete the program will be capable of independent investigation and able to translate research accomplishments into significant advances with clinical relevance.
Diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, and high cholesterol are critical, and growing, public health problems in the United States as well as the rest of the world. Diabetes and its complications alone is responsible for every fifth health care dollar spent in the US, by some estimates. In our state of North Carolina, 29.4% of the population is obese, and 9.6% have diabetes. Furthermore, the impact on minority populations is disproportionately high. There is a nationwide shortage of endocrinologists, and endocrine researchers are in particularly short supply. More must be trained. The Duke University Medical Center T32 Research Training Program in Endocrinology and Metabolism has a mission to recruit and train outstanding physicians and other medical scientists for careers in endocrine/metabolic research in an outstanding multifaceted environment.
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