Wayne State University

Wayne State University professor receives prestigious National Institutes of Health training grant - Award will prepare future leaders of endocrine research

DETROIT—Abdul Abou-Samra, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, physiology and molecular genetics in the School of Medicine at Wayne State University, has received a prestigious training grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for nearly $1 million.

The grant aims to address the decrease in academic endocrinologists who have both clinical skill and research expertise, by motivating young endocrinologists to pursue a combined research and academic track that will prepare them to become the future leaders of endocrine research.

“NIH programs promote recruitment and training of the next generation of researchers by defraying some of the cost of the additional training,” said Dr. Arthur Castle, director of NIDDK’s institutional training programs for diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic diseases. “It’s an investment in tomorrow’s cutting-edge researchers and in the advances they will make to improve our understanding of endocrine diseases and our ability to better manage and prevent them.”

Endocrine-related illnesses include diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity and osteoporosis, all of which are major public health concerns because of their prevalence and devastating complications, including heart attack, stroke, blindness and kidney failure. These illnesses can have adverse effects on other major diseases of the cardiovascular, renal, nervous, gonadal and digestive systems.

“The management and prevention of these diseases have become the mandate of primary care physicians,” said Dr. Abou-Samra. “Most endocrine fellowship programs produce clinical endocrinologists who are only skilled in a clinical setting and lack much-needed research skills. With this grant from the NIH, we will address the decreasing number of academic endocrinologists with research skills who will transition into the academic setting, ultimately leading our future research programs.”

“This T32 training grant from the National Institutes of Health is a critical component for preparing fellows for academic and laboratory careers,” said Gloria Heppner, associate vice president for research at WSU. “Wayne State is a leader in endocrine and diabetes research, and under Dr. Abou-Samra’s directorship, we can expect to train some of the brightest endocrinologists in the world.”

For more information about the endocrinology program at Wayne State University, visit http://endocrinology.med.wayne.edu.

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Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.