Diabetes and its cardiometabolic complications are growing rapidly, and creating overwhelming public health and economic burdens in the USA and worldwide. Innovative research is necessary to curb this pandemic, which will require the training of new generations of multidisciplinary investigators. The proposed University of Maryland T32 training program in Diabetes and Its Metabolic Complications (DMC) will fulfill an unmet need for research training specifically focused on genomic approaches to diabetes from discovery to implementation into patient care. We request support for 2 pre- and 2 post-doctoral (PhD, MD or MD/PhD) fellows annually for 5 years to create a cadre of future leaders in diabetes translational genomics research. Our T32 curriculum focuses on three mutually informative research tracks to advance genomic discoveries to new mechanistic understandings to novel approaches for treatment and prevention of diabetes and its metabolic complications: 1) Genetics/genomics; 2) Pathophysiology of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and their cardiovascular complications; and 3) Therapeutic strategies. Didactics will be required to fulfill core competencies in one of the three tracks; however the curriculum will provide sufficient flexibility to individualize to the specific interests and needs of each trainee. DMC trainees will be immersed in an intensive, comprehensive, mentored research experience. Our 16 DMC Training Grant faculty are experienced mentors, independent well-funded and productive investigators who work together in multidisciplinary teams that span genetics/genomics, molecular, cellular, and pathophysiological mechanisms of disease, translational research, and patient- and population-oriented research. The research environment and resources available to trainees in diabetes translational genomics research at the University of Maryland are substantial and include the NIH-funded Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) and the Baltimore Diabetes Research Center (DRC). One of the signature programs of DMC faculty is the Amish Genomics Research Program, which provides unprecedented opportunities for training and research in diabetes translational genomics. The DMC Training Program will be directed by Drs. Alan Shuldiner and Michael Quon. Implementation/development of our program including curriculum development, trainee selection from a large pool of highly qualified applicants, mentor pairing, tracking/guidance of trainees/mentors, and evaluation of the Training Program will be overseen by a Steering Committee, with programmatic oversight by Internal and External Advisory Committees. The DMC T32 Training Program will enable senior accomplished University of Maryland faculty to train, mentor, and nurture exceptional pre- and post-doctoral fellows for success in independent scholarly careers in biomedical research focused on diabetes translational genomics. Such training is essential for effectively addressing enormous public health/economic costs associated with diabetes and its metabolic complications.

Public Health Relevance

Diabetes and its complications are growing rapidly, and exacting a huge public health and economic burden. Innovative research, which will require training of new generations of multidisciplinary investigators, is necessary to curb this pandemic. The proposed University of Maryland T32 training program in Diabetes and Its Metabolic Complications (DMC) will fulfill an unmet need for research training specifically focused on genomic approaches to translational diabetes research. This approach will expand mechanistic understanding at the molecular, cellular and pathophysiological levels, and enable translational research to improve our ability to treat and prevent this devastating disease.

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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Castle, Arthur
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University of Maryland Baltimore
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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