NIH Sponsored Lipid Sciences Training Program
NIH Sponsored Integrative Lipid Sciences, Inflammation, and Chronic Diseases Training Program
The Integrative Lipid Sciences, Inflammation, and Chronic Diseases Training Program (hereafter referred to as "Training Program") is designed to provide research training for pre-doctoral students in the broad and expanding discipline of lipid sciences, with a particular emphasis on the relationships among lipid metabolism, inflammation, and chronic diseases.
The Training Program has 12 mentors who have primary academic appointments in five departments and will draw trainees from four different graduate programs of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Wake Forest University.
The Training Program is administered by a director (Dr. John Parks) and an associate director (Dr. Gregory Shelness).
This Training Program has evolved from the natural, ongoing collaborations and common research interests in lipid sciences of a number of established investigators who have been assembled onto one floor of a new state-of-the-art research building (3rd floor of Biotechnology Research Facility 1 with 33,000 ft2 of space) on the downtown campus of the Wake Forest University Health Sciences (WFUHS). The new downtown campus is located 1.5 miles from the central medical school campus and is part of the Piedmont Triad Research Park. The combination of facilities, faculty, and other resources provides a rich and vibrant interdisciplinary training environment for graduate students interested in focusing their research in the area of lipid sciences and chronic disease research.
The 12 primary training faculty or mentors will be drawn from the Departments of Pathology (Section on Lipid Sciences and Tumor Biology) (6), Internal Medicine (Sections on Gastroenterology and Rheumatology) (3), Radiologic Sciences (Section on Cardiothoracic Imaging) (1), Physiology/Pharmacology (1), and Cancer Biology (1). Several of these faculty also have cross appointments in other departments. Research programs of the training faculty are supported by 9 R01 grants, two Program Project grants (HL049373-14 and CA106742-01) and a P50 Center grant (AT0027820-03).
Additional faculty who provide particular expertise in Lipid Sciences serve as Associate Mentors and enhance the training environment of our students. Mentors have a common research interest in the role of lipid metabolism in the pathogenesis of chronic diseases, including atherosclerosis, lupus, asthma and cancer. All mentors are currently collaborating with at least one other mentor and are principal investigators, co-principal investigators, and/or project leaders on NIH-funded research projects, including R01, PPG and Center grants. The training faculty is multidisciplinary with 9 PhD and 3 MD or MD/PhD investigators. PhD students participating in the Training Program come from four departments or programs of the Wake Forest University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and include:
- Molecular Pathology,
- Molecular Medicine (Mol Med),
- Biochemistry, and
- Molecular Genetics (Mol Gen).
Training for students will include traditional didactic course work, seminars, journal clubs, research meetings, ethics and professional development training, participation in cutting-edge research projects, grant writing, and scientific presentations both within the Training Program environment and at regional and national meetings. All trainees are required to write an F31 or equivalent foundation grant application during their training period. Areas of emphasis or focus for students in lipid sciences include:
- Functional genomics of lipid metabolism
- In vivo imaging of lipid deposition imaging of lipid deposition
- Botanical lipids in the treatment of chronic diseases
- Macromolecular assembly of lipids
- Lipid transport biology
- Bioactive lipids in the prevention, pathogenesis, and treatment of chronic diseases
Each of these areas of focus contains at least two faculty members who will participate in the training and supervision of graduate students in a co-mentoring relationship. There is also a translational research track for students who enroll in the Molecular Medicine graduate program.
In addition, several program faculty members, including Drs. Chilton, Rudel, and Parks, are part of the Center for Botanical Lipids at WFUHS, one of five dietary supplement research centers focusing on studies of botanical products that have been jointly funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), both components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).