T-32: Training in Obesity Research


The objective of this NIH funded institutional program is to train PhD and MD postdoctoral fellows to become productive research scientists capable of establishing scientific careers that further the efforts of the NIH to understand the complex interactions between genetic, molecular, physiological and behavioral aspects of obesity.


The Pennington Biomedical Research Center's Postdoctoral  Program aims to bridge the divide between the molecular/genetic approaches and the physiological/behavioral studies of the functions of specific genes by providing training in these areas and by selecting research projects for the postdoctoral fellows that are particularly appropriate to this approach. 

Each postdoctoral fellow will be encouraged to develop transdisciplinary research efforts to understand an aspect of the obesity disease. The program will take advantage of the cutting-edge technologies and the wide range of research efforts related to obesity that are available at the Pennington Center. This broad-based training program will enable trainees to write competitive grant proposals that will help them establish successful research careers in academia, academic medicine, governmental agencies, and in the private sector.

Trainees entering the program will request a Primary Preceptor/Mentor. This person should be a senior faculty member whose research is of major interest to the trainee and who has resources to provide research support within a NIH-funded research project, office space, lab space, access to necessary equipment, and any additional funding necessary to supplement the T32 travel budget to allow for trainees to present at one conference annually. The requested primary mentor must be approved by the Steering Committee before being assigned. The trainee, with advice from his Primary Preceptor/Mentor, will identify another faculty member in an area different from the Primary to serve as the Secondary Preceptor/Mentor. The Secondary Preceptor will likely be a senior or junior faculty member (who has collaborated with the Primary on projects that cut across traditional boundaries of obesity research.


PhD or MD required or anticipated; research directly relevant to molecular, genetic, metabolic, and cellular aspects of obesity.

Program Structure

Along with working side by side in research activities with our faculty mentors, trainees will be expected to attend graduate seminars. They will also participate in workshops on Grant Proposal Writing. At least once every 14 months, trainees will give data presentations to the PBRC community.  Throughout each year, trainees will attend weekly seminars by visiting scientists, weekly work-in-progress presentations by the PBRC faculty and monthly postdoc data presentations. 

During their first year, trainees are encouraged to submit an F32 application and are required to develop and submit a specific aims page and letter of intent for a pilot & feasibility study sponsored by one of our 3 NIH-funded center grants. Feedback will be given in the format a Mock Study Section with the trainee present. By the end of year 2, trainees will be required to submit their revised P&F grant application designed to generate preliminary data for a future NIH grant application.  A third year on the grant is optional and contingent on having secured a P&F award and/or having a grant in consideration. 


Phil Brantley PHD

Phillip J. Brantley, PhD
T32 Program Director
Endowed Professorship in Nutrition
6400 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70808-4124

Leanne Redman PhD

Leanne Redman, PhD, MSc

T32 Program Director
Professor and Director of Reproductive Endocrinology and Women’s
Health Laboratory
Co-Scientific Director, Energy Metabolism Core Laboratory
Associate Executive Director for Scientific Education
6400 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70808-4124