The objective of this proposal is to obtain funds for the training of highly qualified PhD scientists committed to a research career in the area of nutrition and cardiovascular disease (CVD) at a basic, clinical, epidemiological, and/or translational level. Despite advances in the past two decades, CVD is still the leading cause of disability and death in the U.S. It costs the nation approximately $432 billion annually, a figure in excess of 20% of the total national healthcare expenditures. Given the continued demographic shift in the U.S. towards the older age groups, this burden is predicted to increase. Lifetime risk for CVD and median survival rate is strongly associated with risk factor burden at age 50 years. Understanding the underlying mechanism(s) of this association and refining optimal approaches to minimize CVD risk factor burden is critical to advancing approaches to decreasing CVD incidence and improving prognosis. The rational for this proposal is based on the firm belief that nutrition is the most significant modifiable lifestyle behavior that can alter CVD risk. This proposal seeks funds to train the next generation of researchers to address CVD genesis, prevention, and treatment at a molecular, cellular, whole organism, and population level. Continued support is requested for the four predoctoral training slots for each of five years. All trainees are first admitted to the PhD program at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. After one or two years of coursework (depending on prior training) students are eligible to be admitted to the Training Program. Acceptance is predicated upon outstanding academic and research achievement, and establishing a doctoral research project in the area of nutrition and CVD. Training Program faculty have a proven record in their ability to provide exemplary training to predoctoral students. Critical components of the Training Program include didactic training in nutrition, basic sciences and epidemiology;independent mentored research in the area of biochemical and molecular nutrition or nutritional epidemiology (doctoral thesis);preparation and submission and/or publication of research in peer-reviewed journals;oral and poster presentation of research in public forums;NIH-style research proposal preparation and defense;and training in scientific ethics and research responsibility. Training Program administration and trainee supervision will be the responsibility of the program director and Steering Committee, which will meet semi-annually to review and discuss trainee selection and progress, adequacy of mentoring, and transition of trainees to independent researchers. We believe the training environment at the Friedman School and Tufts Univeristy provides an outstanding opportunity for future researchers in the area of nutrition and CVD and continued support in both the scientific future of the trainees and the public health of the nation is a good investment.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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NHLBI Institutional Training Mechanism Review Committee (NITM)
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Carlson, Drew E
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Tufts University
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