T32 Training Grant

The complexities of biological, behavioral, social and environmental risk factors for obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD) necessitate team science, capable of crossing the boundaries of disciplinary-specific silos to conduct and evaluate research from a transdisciplinary approach to prevent and treat obesity and CVD across the lifespan.

Efforts to facilitate greater collaboration among scientists trained across many fields and levels of training are not only valuable but essential to solving such complex problems. Accordingly the Nutrition-Behavioral Cardiovascular Disease Prevention training grant supports innovative, transdisciplinary pre- and postdoctoral training program in obesity and CVD at Washington University in St. Louis.

This program will provide trainees with collaborative, transdisciplinary mentorship teams and training in the ethical and socially responsible conduct of obesity/CVD research. International authorities on obesity, Denise Wilfley, PhD (Director) and Samuel Klein, MD (Co-Director), are supported by highly qualified, primary and co-mentors spanning 15 departments in the biomedical, cognitive and behavioral, and population health sciences.

Visit the Weight Management and Eating Disorders Program »

The aims of the program are to

  1. Train talented transdisciplinary pre- and postdoctoral trainees to become independent scientists in obesity and CVD who are capable of working within and leading transdisciplinary research teams.
  2. Provide trainees with primary mentoring from highly-qualified, senior obesity/CVD researchers and augment the trainees’ experiences with training from senior co-mentors with renowned translational research programs that can extend and inform the traditional scope of obesity/CVD research, junior co-mentors with developing expertise in obesity/CVD, and clinical co-mentors with relevant expertise translating approaches from “bench to bedside” in the treatment or assessment of obesity/CVD. Junior co-mentors will in turn develop their own mentoring skills under the guidance of the primary mentors. Trainees establish a collaborative mentorship team of two or more faculty (including at least one primary mentor) from at least two of the three disciplines represented in our program faculty: biomedical, cognitive and behavioral, and population health sciences.
  3. Increase diversity in our future scientific workforce through effective multi-level recruitment and retention efforts to attract underrepresented minorities (URM), individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to our program.
  4. Provide training in the ethical and socially responsible conduct of obesity and CVD research across the lifespan including with vulnerable populations (e.g. children, mental health populations).

Additional information

Other training opportunities at Washington University School of Medicine are available to young investigators.

In particular, the Clinical Research Training Center (CRTC) provides a cohesive and supportive infrastructure to foster clinical research training and career development for predoctoral students, house-staff, postdoctoral fellows and faculty. Active mentoring, hands on research experiences and formal didactic programs in clinical research methods leading to a certificate or Masters Degree in Clinical Investigation are core components of the CRTC program.

Traineeships in nutrition and obesity related projects are available through a large number of NIH-funded training grants in cardiology, cell biology, diabetes, epidemiology, gastroenterology and gerontology. In addition, mentored research fellowships are available through conventional investigator-initiated grant sources.