Training Program

The Diabetes and Hormone Action Grants

Obtaining a Training Grant in this Program:
There are four post doctoral grants available each year. Funding can begin any time during the fiscal year and provide up to two years support.

The Diabetes and Hormone Action Training Program

This program promotes the academic development of basic and clinical scientists who will focus their research efforts in the area of diabetes and related disorders. Diabetes is a prevalent, serious, metabolic disorder that affects more than 16 million Americans. Also alarming is the fact that the prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance or “pre-diabetes” affects a similar number of individuals, and in addition, the age of diagnosis for people with diabetes is moving to progressively younger individuals in the population. For the country to successfully cope with the now recognized epidemic increase in diabetes, pre-diabetes, and the “insulin-resistance” syndrome will require an expanded, talented, well-trained cohort of clinical and basic scientists. These individuals must be equipped with a broad understanding of the diverse complications of diabetes, as well as the diverse causes for diabetes and insulin resistance.

The environment of the University of Virginia’s Diabetes Center is well-suited to meet this challenge and is the focal center for our training program in diabetes and hormone action. The Center is interdepartmental, reporting directly to the Dean of the School of Medicine. It contains considerable research resources in the form of laboratory space, well-equipped core laboratories, and an expanded complement of both junior and senior investigators involved in both clinical and basic research related to diabetes. Our training program’s major strength is an outstanding group of program faculty with established national and international reputations in the area of diabetes, hormone action, cell signaling, islet cell function, and clinical investigation. The center runs its own seminar program. This is an intellectual focal point and affords trainees the opportunity to meet with distinguished scientists from many institutions and to present their own research projects. Most importantly, the Center is a highly interactive community of scientists who collaborate on projects that impact on many areas of diabetes, hormone action, and cellular signaling.

The training program here has been in operation for 24 years. During that time over 80 fellows have been trained. Acceptance into the program is decided by the Training Grant Advisory Committee. Over the entire duration of the program approximately 45 percent of trainees are M.D.s and 55 percent Ph.D. graduates. Most currently hold positions as investigators at academic institutions and in the biomedical research industry throughout the United States. Training is focused on specific projects in laboratories of the mentoring investigators and individualized to specific needs and career goals of the trainee. The training occurs in an interdisciplinary atmosphere, often involving collaborative input from both clinical and basic scientists. The Diabetes Center atmosphere of interdepartmental and interdisciplinary cooperation with a focus on a complex disease such as diabetes is well-suited to training bright, creative future investigators.