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Grant Abstract

Grant Number: 5T32DK064584-05
Project Title: Obesity:From Genes to Man

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Obesity/overweight is rampant in the United States and has been acknowledged as the second leading cause of death, behind smoking. Obesity has been linked to diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Efforts to understand and manage this complex disease have met with modest success such that obesity continues to grow in prevalence at an alarming rate in both adults and children. It is likely that research which transcends traditional boundaries of research and focuses on cross-disciplinary approaches to research questions may provide the answers needed to conquer this grave threat to the health of individuals in developed countries. A research Training Program entitled, "Obesity: From Genes to Man," is proposed for the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University. The objective of this program is to train Ph.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. Many molecular biologists/geneticists have been attracted into the obesity research field but lack the physiological/metabolic/behavioral expertise to fully exploit their discoveries. Conversely, physiological /metabolic and behavioral studies need to be complemented by molecular and genetic approaches for a fuller understanding. We aim 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 these 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.

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