Training > Diabetes Research Postdoctoral Training Program

"Cell Biologic Approaches to Diabetes Research"
Program Directors: Michael L. McDaniel, Ph.D and Marco Colonna, M.D.

Background and History

Washington University School of Medicine has a longstanding and major commitment to diabetes research and patient care. The World Health Organization estimates that 18 million people in the U.S. had diabetes in 2000 and national trends indicate that over 30 million will develop diabetes by 2030. The consequences of the debilitating complications resulting from diabetes are staggering and further compounded by the predisposing factors to other problems including increased incidence of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and peripheral neuropathy. It is critical that academic research institutions and the diabetes health profession at large actively train well-qualified research scientists and physicians in the prevention and treatment of this major health problem.

Postdoctoral Diabetes Training Program

The objective of this program is to train postdoctoral scientists and physicians in the use of modern cellular, genetic and molecular techniques to study the problems of diabetes and related endocrine diseases. Trainees must have a Ph.D., M.D., M.D./Ph.D. or equivalent degree(s) with a commitment to research careers in diabetes and related endocrine diseases. Trainees are generally recent graduates in areas of molecular biology and basic sciences. This program consists of 16 faculty members from departments throughout the Medical Center with research areas including: 1) insulin secretion and beta cell proliferation, 2) development of endodermal lineages including beta cells, 3) processing and presentation of antigens by histocompatibility molecules in Type 1 diabetes, 4) immune tolerance and autoimmunity in Type 1 diabetes, 5) KATP channels and neonatal diabetes, 6) Ca2+-independent phospholipase A2 and beta cells 7) insulin resistance/diabetes in adult HIV disease, 8) diabetic neuropathy, 9) glucose transporters and Type 2 diabetes, 10) lipid synthesis, metabolism and vascular diseases in diabetes, 11) obesity, diabetes and nutrition, 12) diabetes-induced pregnancy loss and malformations, 13) nutritional environment and mitochondrial metabolism and epigenetic signature. The mainstay of training is an independent research project in a mentor's laboratory and opportunities to collaborate with other mentors and basic scientists. Trainees also participate in seminars on both basic and clinical issues in diabetes, endocrinology, metabolism and immunology. The duration of training is 3 years and there are 4 postdoctoral slots available. The goal of this program is to provide postdoctoral trainees with research experience and skills necessary to gain extramural funding and career opportunities to develop into independent investigators with a career commitment to research and teaching in diabetes and related endocrine diseases.

Participating Faculty Members

Nada Abumrad, Ph.D. Marco Colonna, M.D.
Jennifer Duncan, M.D.Brian Finck, Ph.D.
Samuel Klein, M.D.Michael L. McDaniel, Ph.D.
Kelle Moley, M.D.Michael Mueckler, Ph.D.
Kenneth Murphy, M.D., Ph.D.Colin Nichols, Ph.D.
Jean Schaffer, M.D.Robert Schmidt, MD, Ph.D.
Clay Semenkovich, M.D.John Turk, M.D./Ph.D.
Emil Unanue, M.D.Kevin Yarasheski, Ph.D.

Program Plan

      There are five basic components of this training program:

  1. The development of an independent research project in a mentor's laboratory
  2. Attending and participating in seminars, journal clubs, and national conferences
  3. The development of research collaborations with other investigators
  4. Development of skills necessary for publishing and obtaining independent funding
  5. Individual mentoring and university-sponsored workshops for career development in biomedical research

How to Apply

Qualifications: Qualified applicants should hold a Ph.D., M.D., M.D./Ph.D. or equivalent degree and be committed to a career in diabetes research.

Requirements: This position is funded by a NIH T32 training grant. Candidates are required to be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Materials needed to send: Please forward a statement of research interest paragraph, curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference.

Michael L. McDaniel, Ph.D., Professor of Pathology & ImmunologyorMarco Colonna, M.D., Professor of Pathology & Immunology
Phone: 314-362-7435Phone: 314-362-0367
Fax: 314-362-4096Fax: 314-362-4096
Email: mmcdaniel@wustl.eduEmail:

Washington University School of Medicine
Department of Pathology & Immunology
Campus Box 8118
660 S. Euclid Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110