Our postdoctoral training program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is a central component of the Center for Child Behavior and Nutrition Research and Training. The Center has a specific research focus on the behavioral, biologic, and nutritional aspects of pediatric chronic illnesses and other nutrition-related health issues. The Center's T32 training program, funded by NIDDK in 2003, formalized cross-disciplinary training at the postdoctoral level with the aim of training the next generation of academic leaders. The training program integrates the expertise of faculty members across the Divisions of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology; Endocrinology; Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition; General and Community Pediatrics; Pulmonary Medicine; Biostatistics and Epidemiology; Neurology; the Department of Pediatric and Thoracic Surgery; and the Department of Rehabilitation, Exercise and Nutritional Sciences. Trainees acquire: (1) expertise in the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of pediatric chronic medical conditions in which dietary modification is a central component of disease management; (2) knowledge of ?state of the art? as well as innovative means of assessment of physical (e.g., body composition, bone mass, disease progression), nutritional (e.g., via electronic data capture), and psychosocial (e.g., quality of life, family functioning, functional behavior) status across the pediatric age range; and (3) knowledge of nutrition, behavioral, and clinical trials science necessary to develop empirically-tested prevention models and clinical interventions that improve dietary adherence, nutritional status, and long-term health and quality of life outcomes for youth. Candidates have backgrounds in clinical psychology, nutritional science, or pediatric medical subspecialties (e.g., Endocrinology, Gastroenterology). The focal elements of the training program are mentored experiences within interdisciplinary research programs with our NIH-funded research faculty. These mentored research experiences include the fellow's participation as both an interdisciplinary team member, as well as their initiation of a mentored interdisciplinary independent research project. Based on the fellow's prior educational pathway (PhD, MD), further training is obtained via practical and applied experiences and engagement in didactics, seminars, and academic coursework tailored to an individual's training needs and career goals (e.g., behavioral science, nutrition science, clinical trials methodology, advanced biostatistics, grant-writing, responsible conduct of research, Masters Degree in Clinical and Translational Research). As evidenced by the excellent progress of our program graduates, these training opportunities provide a solid foundation from which young clinical researchers have already secured, and will continue to successfully transition to, faculty positions in the field of academic medicine and emerge as leaders with NIH-funded clinical research programs that have a significant impact on future pediatric health outcomes. The current renewal application (Years 16- 20) for this innovative T32 program requests support for four postdoctoral training positions.

Public Health Relevance

Nutritional and dietary modifications are key components to the management of many pediatric chronic conditions, yet are often difficult for youth and families to accomplish, causing significant morbidity and reduced life-expectancy. Clinical investigators with knowledge of behavioral, biomedical, nutritional, and clinical trials sciences are critically needed to develop empirically-tested prevention models and clinical interventions that improve dietary adherence, nutritional status, and long-term health and quality of life outcomes for youth. Graduates of this fellowship program will be national leaders who will have a significant scientific impact on research in child behavior and nutrition and relevant health outcomes for many years to come.

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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Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases D Subcommittee (DDK)
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Densmore, Christine L
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Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
United States
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