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 11 mentors who have primary academic appointments in four departments and will draw trainees from five 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, most of whom are located in new state-of-the-art research buildings 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 Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.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.

Faculty

The 11 primary training faculty or mentors drawn from the Departments of Internal Medicine (Sections on Molecular Medicine and Gerontology) (6), Biochemistry (1), Physiology/Pharmacology (2), and Cancer Biology (2).  Several faculty also have cross appointments in other departments. Research programs of the training faculty are supported by additional R01 grants and a P50 Center grant.

Mentors

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, insulin resistance/obesity, Alzheimer’s Disease, and cancer.  Most 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 and Center grants. Several program faculty members, including Drs. Chilton and Parks, are part of the Center for Botanical Lipids at WFUHS, one of five national 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).

 The training faculty is multidisciplinary, with research that spans basic to translational studies. 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: 

Training

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
  • 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 and Translational Science graduate program. 

Quick Reference

Integrative Lipid Sciences Training Program
Program Director:
John Parks, PhD

jparks@wakehealth.edu

Associate Director:
Greg Shelness, PhD

gshelnes@wakehealth.edu

Pathology - Lipid Sciences
Wake Forest Baptist Health
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157
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Last Updated: 04-17-2014
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