National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

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Training in Botanical Approaches to Combat Metabolic Syndrome

Pennington Biomedical Research Center


Division of Education
6400 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
United States


The objective of this proposed training grant is to train both Ph.D. and M.D. postdoctoral fellows to become productive research scientists capable of establishing scientific careers that further efforts to understand the role of botanicals on the complex interactions between genetic, molecular, and physiological aspects of the metabolic syndrome. Many qualified scientists in the areas of molecular biology, genetics, physiology, and metabolism have been attracted to the study of the metabolic syndrome, but lack the expertise or resources to expand their research to the study of how botanicals may affect these physiologic or molecular processes. Conversely, individuals who may be well versed in plant discovery, characterization and standardization may need to have their approach complemented by molecular, genetic, and physiologic approaches. We aim to bridge the divide between the plant discovery/characterization approach and the molecular biology/physiological approach by providing training in these areas and by encouraging postdoctoral interdisciplinary research efforts to understand the effect and action of botanicals on components of the metabolic syndrome. This training program will take advantage of the staff and resources of our NIH—sponsored Botanicals Research Center (BRC), a joint venture between Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the LSU Agricultural Center, and the Rutgers University Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and the Environment. Most fellows will be based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but some will be based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Live video conferencing, secure internet access and visits to all training sites will allow for multidisciplinary training. Along with laboratory mentoring, fellows will complete formal coursework, seminars in grant writing, and training in the responsible conduct of research.