A wide variety of resources are available to support training in diabetes research at UIC. Nearly 100 faculty members at UIC, including clinicians and scientists, are focused on diabetes and related research areas, and our mentoring faculty has over 24 million dollars of federally funded grants available to our trainees working toward understanding and tackling this disease. Diabetes research at UIC spans multiple departments and colleges, and ranges from basic discovery, drug development, translational and clinical research (including Precision Medicine), to behavioral, environmental and community-based studies targeting diabetes and obesity in underserved minorities. The mentoring faculty for this training program utilize a variety of research strategies and cutting-edge technologies, including epigenetics, genomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics, computer modeling and nanotechnology that our trainees can employ. This program capitalizes on this diverse range of opportunities and expertise to provide outstanding post-doctoral training opportunities for MD and PhD trainees in a multidisciplinary environment that promotes diversity.
In addition to resources provided within the laboratories of individual investigators in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and in other basic and clinical science departments, colleges and centers affiliated with this program, trainees also have access to the Cell Biology, Genomics, Genetics and Physiology Cores available through the recently renewed NIDDK P30 Chicago Diabetes Research and Training Center that we are a part of (see letter from Dr. Bell), including the Cell Biology and Metabolism Core at UIC. Also, the UIC Research Resource Center (RRC) provides a wide range of core facilities with access to cutting edge technologies that are available to our trainees for research and training, includes mass spectrometry (including metabolomics and proteomics), structural biology, genomics, gene sequencing, gene editing, flow cytometry, high throughput screening, animal imaging, biophysics, tissue and cellular imaging, nanotechnology, research bioinformatics and scientific computing facilities.
UIC also has outstanding resources available to fellows pursuing training in clinical, translational and community-based research. The Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) serves as the intellectual and geographic home for clinical and translational research at UIC and provides important training and research opportunities for our trainees. The CCTS provides research support through Core Units, including the Design and Analysis, Clinical Interface, Biomedical Informatics, Regulatory Support and Advocacy, Community Engagement and Research, and Translational Technology and Resources cores. Trainees that are planning clinical or translational research can complete a 3 day “Clinical Research Boot Camp”, which addresses a range of topics that are essential to conducting responsible clinical research. Similarly, trainees engaging in community-based research can enroll in a 3 day “Community-Based Research Boot Camp”. The CCTS also is home to the MS in Clinical and Translational Science program, a two year degree-conferring program that also is available to our trainees, and it administers a Kl2 grant program to help support young investigators in their transition to independence at UIC, including trainees that transition into junior faculty positions at the end of their T32 program.
The Institute for Health Research Policy, the Institute for Minority Health Research and the School of Public Health provide many opportunities for training in community based research, health disparities and health care behavior and delivery research related to diabetes and obesity. The SPH is home to the ChicAgo Center for Health and Environment (CACHET), a recently funded NIH P30 center that is provides opportunities for research and training related to the impact of environmental factors and endocrine disruptors on metabolic health. The Institute of Health Research Policy provides significant additional strength and depth in research and resources related to health behavior, and community-based, and health policy research, and several members of our faculty are based at or affiliated with the IHRP.