This application is for the competitive renewal of the post-doctoral research training pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP) of UPMC, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh (UOP). The goal of this 14 year research training program is to provide state-of-the- art training in the molecular, cellular, physiologic, genetic, biochemical or epidemiologic aspects of pediatric endocrinology to ensure that the physician-scientists who graduate from this program are well prepared for productive academic careers in translational research related to their choice of any aspect of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes for which there is mentorship expertise at the university. The majority of graduates of this well known long established fellowship program are in full-time academic positions with many in research leadership positions, The program entails two to three years of mentored research (basic science or clinical) in addition to the mandated clinical year of fellowship training. The faculty of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes has diverse interests, are active investigators, most of whom are grant funded, and are widely interactive with other faculty and components of the UOP and Carnegie Mellon University. While clinical training revolves around the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Obesity at the CHP, subsequent research years will be supervised by a primary mentor selected by the fellow from the research mentor list within or outside the division, depending on the interest of the fellow. All Research Faculty Mentors are established investigators, selected because of the immediate translational relevance and high caliber of their research, their outstanding records of training M.D. and Ph.D. scientists, their long-term productivity and success in securing extramural funding, and their interest in interdisciplinary projects. In addition to a primary research mentor, each trainee will be supervised by a mentorship committee, including the program directors, to oversee and evaluate his/her scientific progress and career development. Trainees will work side-by-side with other M.D., Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D. pre-doctoral or post-doctoral trainees. Periodic evaluations, coupled with formal course work, will provide a rigorous intellectual foundation for each trainee's scientific endeavors. The institutional commitment to pediatric research at CHP and the School of Medicine has been substantial. The UPMC and the CHP commitment is $7.5 million each year for the next 3 years, including the Dec 2008 opening of a new state of the art pediatric research building. Thus, the overall achievements of this program, its critical intellectual mass, and the tremendous resources at the CHP and the UOP have made this an outstanding program to train much needed pediatric endocrine physician-scientists, encourage their transition to K awards,and cultivate their success as independent R01 funded investigators. With increasing national interest in pediatric endocrinology, as reflected by the numbers of applicants, we anticipate that this research training program will provide a mechanism through which contemporary physician-scientists will obtain the tools fundamental for successful and productive academic careers in translational research.
This pediatric endocrine and diabetes training program, funded by a T-32 for the past 14 years, has produced a cadre of nationally and internationally recognized pediatric endocrine researchers including 6 Chairs of pediatrics, 9 Division Chiefs and 2 Presidents of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society. Our program, therefore, has traditionally been a major provider of pediatric endocrinologists in the USA. This program is one of only 16 NIDDK funded pediatric ^endocrine/diabetes training grants, whose graduates are essential to the academic future of the subspecialty.
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