T32 Training Program
“Research Training in Neuroendocrinology & Metabolism” is an NIH-funded T32 Training Program focused on providing high-quality research training to postdoctoral trainees interested in pursuing careers in translational research. The program is supported by NIDDK-funded grant T32 DK007646 and provides trainees with research training support from 1 to a maximum of 3 years. We welcome outstanding applicants with PhDs, MDs (or equivalent) as well as combination MD/PhDs to join as postdoctoral trainees. The ultimate goal of our program is to provide exceptional support in both technical and professional research skills so that upon completion of the program trainees are equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to successfully apply for and manage independent research funding.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The training program began in 1990 under the leadership of Dr. Robert MacLeod and throughout its 29 years of funding has been led by a distinguished group of investigators with a broad knowledge of neuroendocrine and more recently metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Though closely affiliated with the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, the training program engages with a wide variety of University resources and institutionally sponsored symposia aimed at encouraging collaboration and further enhancing the training experience for successful trainee outcomes.
MEET OUR PROGRAM DIRECTORS
Dr. Barrett assumed the directorship of the program in 2016. Dr. Barrett’s research interests focus on insulin action and insulin resistance, particularly in the microvasculature. It includes a neuroendocrine focus with studies of insulin transport into the brain but also focuses on the heart and skeletal muscle. Dr. Barrett is a former president of the American Diabetes Association.
Dr. Basu is an internationally recognized NIDDK-funded diabetes investigator who came to UVA from the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Basu joined the University of Virginia’s Center for Diabetes Technology (CDT) and the Department of Medicine’s Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2017. He joined the training program as Associate Director in 2019 and is preparing to become the new director of the T32 program by the end of 2021.
Dr. Liu has served as Chief of the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism for over 10 years and has extensive experience as a clinician, investigator, educator, and administrator. He has trained and mentored many medical students, residents, endocrinology fellows, PhD students, and postdoctoral research fellows throughout his career at the University of Virginia.
Dr. Thurl Harris brings the perspective of a basic science investigator to our T32 leadership team. Beyond being an accomplished investigator, he has trained dozens of undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellows and has for the past five years served as Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Pharmacology.
Trainees can choose from one of two main research training tracks depending upon their degree and prior experience.
Clinical – Many of our MD applicants are already associated with the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism’s Clinical Fellowship Program Eligible clinical fellows interested in pursuing research training as a part of their clinical fellowship are welcome to apply for support from the T32 program. The typical MD Clinical Track begins with an initial year of pure clinical fellowship training followed by two or more years of integrated research training funded by the T32.
Basic Science – Applicants with PhDs can join our program directly after receiving their postdoctoral degrees or postdoctoral training as long as they have received no more than two years of postdoctoral training support from another NRSA T32 training program or F32 fellowship. Individual training plans and goals will vary depending on each trainee’s experience level upon entering the program.
Trainees must develop strong research projects on both tracks with their mentors. They will apply for extramural funding (NIH F32 or foundation fellowship funding) for their second or third years of training support. Trainees with more advanced experience and in their third year of NRSA T32 support are encouraged to prepare applications for Career Development Awards (either NIH K award or foundation Career Development Award). The eventual goal is for young researchers to successfully transition from training and fellowship to Career Development Awards and then to independent research funding (NIH R01 or equivalent).
The program draws upon the dedication and expertise of 25 mentors from the School of Medicine and beyond. Our mentoring team is composed of a variety of clinician-scientists and basic science investigators committed to cultivating the next generation of researchers in the fields of neuroendocrine and metabolic diseases. Many of our mentors’ research interests intersect, resulting in a rich collaborative research environment that trainees are encouraged to take full advantage of. We encourage mentorship with experienced senior mentors and joint mentorship of trainees from teams of senior and junior faculty as individual training objectives may require.
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For more information or questions about the Research Training in Neuroendocrinology & Metabolism T32 Training Program, please contact:
T32 Program Administrator
Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism
University of Virginia School of Medicine
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