Obesity is rampant in the U.S. and has been acknowledged as a leading cause of death. Obesity has been linked to diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and cancer. Efforts to understand and manage this complex disease have met with modest success such that obesity and particularly severe obesity continues to grow in prevalence at an alarming rate in both adults and children. It is likely that research which transcends traditional boundaries of research and focuses on transdisciplinary approaches to research questions may provide the answers needed to conquer this grave threat to public health. This application is a request for renewal funding for the Pennington Biomedical Research Center-LSU training program originally titled ?Obesity: From Genes to Man?. This T32 program which trains postdoctoral fellows was first funded in 2003, and successfully renewed in 2007 and 2012.
The aim of this application, now titled ?Training in Obesity Research? is to train postdoctoral fellows in the complex interactions between genetic, molecular, physiological, behavioral and population aspects of obesity. The objective of the Training in Obesity Research T32 program is to prepare postdoctoral fellows to become productive research scientists capable of establishing independent scientific careers in academia, governmental agencies, and in the private sector. These junior scientists will further the efforts of the NIH to understand obesity and attenuate its impact on public health. During their 2-3 years of training, the postdocs will be exposed to the model of team science and will receive instruction in scientific writing, grant writing, methods to assure rigor and reproducibility of research, and the use of big data and bioinformatics. The program will take advantage of the cutting-edge technologies and the wide range of research efforts related to obesity available at Pennington Biomedical. This broad- based, training program will enable trainees to acquire transdisciplinary research skills and write papers and competitive grant proposals addressing important questions, which will move our science forward and help them to develop into independent researchers. Pennington Biomedical is committed to postdoctoral research training and sees this as inseparable from their goal of excellence in research. This application is requesting five (5) additional years of funding for five (5) trainee positions per year.

Public Health Relevance

Obesity is a leading cause of death, and has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and cancer. Transdisciplinary research which attempts to synthesize approaches from basic, clinical, and population science may find the answers needed to conquer this public health threat. The objective of this program is to train junior-level scientists to use the latest tools and methods in obesity research, while interacting with scientists of many disciplines to better understand and combat obesity.

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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Lsu Pennington Biomedical Research Center
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Baton Rouge
United States
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Yu, Sangho; Cheng, Helia; François, Marie et al. (2018) Preoptic leptin signaling modulates energy balance independent of body temperature regulation. Elife 7:
Marlatt, Kara L; White, Ursula A; Beyl, Robbie A et al. (2018) Role of resistant starch on diabetes risk factors in people with prediabetes: Design, conduct, and baseline results of the STARCH trial. Contemp Clin Trials 65:99-108
Sadak, Karim Thomas; Marlatt, Kara L (2018) Re: ""The Effect of Atorvastatin on Vascular Function and Structure in Young Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Clinical Trial"" by Marlatt et al. (J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 2017 [Epub ahead of print]; DOI: 10.1 J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol 7:141
Marlatt, Kara L; Beyl, Robbie A; Redman, Leanne M (2018) A qualitative assessment of health behaviors and experiences during menopause: A cross-sectional, observational study. Maturitas 116:36-42
François, Marie; Qualls-Creekmore, Emily; Berthoud, Hans-Rudolf et al. (2018) Genetics-based manipulation of adipose tissue sympathetic innervation. Physiol Behav 190:21-27
Marlatt, Kara L; Chen, Kong Y; Ravussin, Eric (2018) Is activation of human brown adipose tissue a viable target for weight management? Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 315:R479-R483
Most, Jasper; Marlatt, Kara Lynn; Altazan, Abby Duhé et al. (2018) Advances in assessing body composition during pregnancy. Eur J Clin Nutr 72:645-656
Most, Jasper; Gilmore, L Anne; Smith, Steven R et al. (2018) Significant improvement in cardiometabolic health in healthy nonobese individuals during caloric restriction-induced weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 314:E396-E405
Keller, Kathleen L; English, Laural K; Fearnbach, S Nicole et al. (2018) Brain response to food cues varying in portion size is associated with individual differences in the portion size effect in children. Appetite 125:139-151
Masterson, Travis D; Kirwan, C Brock; Davidson, Lance E et al. (2018) Brain reactivity to visual food stimuli after moderate-intensity exercise in children. Brain Imaging Behav 12:1032-1041

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