T-32: Obesity: Training in Obesity Research

Objective

To train Ph.D. and M.D. 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.

Overview

The Pennington Biomedical Research Center's Postdoctoral Research Training 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, 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.

Qualifications:

Ph.D. or M.D. 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 in “Molecular and Clinical Nutrition.” They will also participate in workshops on Grant Proposal Writing and RCR/Career Development. Throughout each year, trainees will attend weekly seminars by visiting scientists, weekly work-in-progress presentations by the PBRC faculty and monthly post-doc data presentations (during at least one of these each year, trainees will present their own research). During their first year, trainees will 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.  

Contact:

Phil Brantly
Phillip J. Brantley, PhD
Phil.Brantley@pbrc.edu
Program Director
Professor and Director of Educational Programs Pennington Biomedical
6400 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70808-4124

 

Leanne Redman
Leanne Redman, PhD, MSc

Leanne.Redman@pbrc.edu
T32 Program Director
Professor and Director of Reproductive Endocrinology and Women’s
Health Laboratory
Co-Scientific Director, Energy Metabolism Core Laboratory
6400 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70808-4124