Since this training program was first funded 25 y ago, the specific problems that confront maternal and child nutrition (MCN) have not gone away, but rather crucial challenges continue to exist and new ones have emerged. As a result, there remains a compelling need to understand not only how to prevent nutritional problems in women of childbearing age and young children but also how to mitigate the effects of these problems on the later health of both women and their children. The proposed program is significant because, in the short term, it will fill a major gap in training in MCN and, in the long term, individuals trained by this program should fill a major gap in producing and interpreting integrative research on MCN. We propose to train 4 (3 predoctoral and 1 postdoctoral) trainees by leveraging the resources of the renowned graduate program in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, one of the largest academic units devoted to human nutrition in the country. The proposed program will be run by its long-time Program Director, Dr. Kathleen M. Rasmussen, with assistance from a 3-member Executive Committee of co-trainers. Program oversight will be provided by the Division's External Advisory Board. Trainees will be mentored by a total of 13 trainers, who have active research programs as well as an exemplary training record. The co-trainers have differing yet complementary skills in a wide range of disciplines related to MCN as well as a long history of collaboration with one another in both training and research. Trainees will complete a core curriculum consisting of 3 graduate-level courses: Topics in Maternal and Child Nutrition, Grant Writing, and Translational Research and Evidence-based Policy and Practice in Nutrition. These courses will be supplemented by the highly valued weekly meeting of the MCN Research Forum and also training in the responsible conduct of research. Use of an individualized Professional Development Plan along with our innovative Collaborative Projects will further enhance the trainees' career and leadership development as well as their resilience in the face of a changing environment for research. Excellent facilities are available in the Division for the proposed program, including well-equipped laboratories, animal facilities, an outpatient metabolic unit, an innovative mass spectroscopy facility and extensive support for statistical computing. Trainees will also have access to shared research facilities throughout the campus and academic centers and institutes that focus on subjects that range from vertebrate genomics to food and nutrition policy. As a result of the proposed program, pre- and postdoctoral trainees will be able to identify the most important problems in MCN, address them with their research, and effectively translate the results of their research into novel policies an appropriate actions.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed program will fill a gap in training needed to conduct research to address the problems in maternal and child nutrition that continue to exist in the United States. Training will be provided at the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, which has a rich training environment to offer as well as a successful history of providing the kind of integrative and translational training that is proposed.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-Y (50)R)
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Raiten, Daniel J
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Cornell University
Other Domestic Higher Education
United States
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King, Julia H; Kwan, Sze Ting Cecilia; Yan, Jian et al. (2017) Maternal Choline Supplementation Alters Fetal Growth Patterns in a Mouse Model of Placental Insufficiency. Nutrients 9:
Ganz, Ariel B; Klatt, Kevin C; Caudill, Marie A (2017) Common Genetic Variants Alter Metabolism and Influence Dietary Choline Requirements. Nutrients 9: