There is a long-documented and continuing shortage of well-trained MD and PhD investigators in Gastroenterology & Hepatology. This issue was further highlighted as an urgent national need in the NIH authorized National Commission on Digestive Diseases Report (March 2009). The overall goal of this program is to provide a diverse group of post-doctoral trainees with an exceptional supervised training and mentoring experience in order to allow them to develop or enhance their research skills and knowledge in preparation for a successful gastroenterology- and hepatology-related research career. This program is intended for post- doctoral MD or PhD trainees and will provide support for 2 or 3 years (currently 2 fellows per year). Success in academic medicine requires not only developing one's own research program but also developing collaborations. Collaborations stimulate ideas, facilitate translational application and provide stimulus for program projects. We have identified research areas involving multiple investigators. Fellows interested in these topics are asked to meet with mentors from these topics. In turn, we encourage collaborative interactions between the various investigative groups that have common research themes. The salient point is that there are many exceptional opportunities for education of trainees in pivotal areas of gastrointestinal/hepatic research, and there is direct access to investigators with complementary skills potentially beyond the realm of the primary mentor; clearly, some of the accomplished faculty members fall into more than one theme category. The faculty of the T32 can be grouped into main 6 research groups: Mucosal Inflammation Program; Immunology of the Liver; Nutrition, Metabolic Syndrome, and Gut Microbiota; Gastroenterology and Hepatology Health Outcomes Policy and Economics Center; Gastrointestinal and Hepatic Cell and Molecular Biology; Carcinogenesis. In addition to the in-person evaluations of the trainee by the mentor and mentorship committee, the Research and Career Development Committee meets quarterly to review all of the trainees based on their personal interaction and the evaluations provided by the mentor and mentorship committees. As mentioned, this Committee not only evaluates the progress of the Trainees, but also of the program in general. The group discusses both how the trainee is doing in terms of their research project, their interaction with their primary mentor, their productivity in writing, their ability to write grants, their short-term and long-term goals,and whether they are on-track to becoming an independent investigator.

Public Health Relevance

Pervasive public health concerns specific to gastroenterology and liver diseases include hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, and obesity, among others. The cutting-edge and collaborative research environment this project provides for young investigators aims to find clinical and research solutions for these common health disorders

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases D Subcommittee (DDK)
Program Officer
Densmore, Christine L
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University of Colorado Denver
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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