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Training and Career Development

Intramural Activities 
Extramural Activities 
Other Activities 


The purpose of the ODS training and career development efforts are to create opportunities for dietary supplement and nutrition research training and career development utilizing existing systems within both the NIH intramural and extramural programs.

Intramural Activities 

Within the intramural programs of several NIH Institutes and Centers, research scientists serve as research mentors for aspiring young scientists both at the predoctoral and postdoctoral levels.

In cooperation with investigators in the NIH intramural programs engaged in nutrition and/or dietary supplement research or in areas germane to the interests of ODS, the ODS has supported five young scientists in the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD), National Eye Institute (NEI), National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases(NIDDK), and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). They are studying the role of dietary supplements in the metabolic regulation of body weight; the role of dietary supplements in proliferative retinopathy and ocular inflammation utilizing animal models; flavonoid intake, glucose tolerance and vitamin C bioavailability and the role of supplemental vitamin C in cancer treatment and in maintaining adequate intakes in diabetes, pregnancy, and sickle cell anemia, and the role of dietary supplements to improve or impair metabolic and vascular actions of insulin, respectively.

Extramural Activites 

NIH supports a number of training programs at academic centers throughout the country. These extramural programs include opportunities for research training and career development across most scientific and medical disciplines. By partnering with NIH Institutes and Centers and supporting targeted additional slots in existing programs, ODS has supported three extramural programs in nutrition and dietary supplement research:

  1. At Harvard University, the National Research Training Grant provides as a vehicle for the education and training of a pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition fellow who is investigating mechanisms by which omega-3 fatty acids, nucleotides, and glutamine affect the gastrointestinal tract by providing protection against the immature infant’s excessive GI response to colonizing bacteria.
  2. ODS provides a Training and Career Development Supplement to each of the Botanical Research Centers. Centers in this category are at Iowa State University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Purdue University, University of California at Los Angeles, and University of Arizona. Currently, 14 trainees are being supported by this effort at the four Centers.
  3. In collaboration with the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) and the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), ODS co-funds the career development award program entitled, “Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH).” ODS provides funds for a BIRWCH Award at Tulane University that supports a research career development program of junior faculty members who have recently completed clinical or postdoctoral training and who are initiating independent research programs relevant to women’s health. Also in collaboration with NICHD, ODS co-funds two “Research Training Grants in Maternal, Infant and Child Nutrition” at Cornell University and Baylor College of Medicine.
  4. At the University of Missouri, An institutional Research Training Grant provides a vehicle for the education and training of a predoctoral student who is investigating phytochemicals in prostate cancer, using an animal model.

Other Activites 

Other ODS activities in support of training and career development include:

  1. ODS sponsors Young Investigator Travel Awards that enhance participation and provide experiential learning opportunities for trainees in nutrition and dietary supplement research. Awards given:
  2. ODS provides funding for training positions at other governmental agencies that are engaged in collaborative activities to further the ODS mission. These include two postdoctoral candidates at National Institute of Standards and Technology for research on reference material development, and three postdoctoral candidates at the USDA Agricultural Research Service for methods development research on bioactive components of foods and dietary supplements.
  3. ODS is co-funding 3 research efforts in Brazil, Peoples Republic of China, and Thailand as part of the NIH Global Health Research Initiative Program for New Foreign Investigators. This program promotes productive re-entry of NIH-trained foreign investigators into their home countries as part of a broader program to enhance the scientific research infrastructure in developing countries, to stimulate research on a wide variety of high priority health-related issues in these countries and to advance NIH efforts to address health issues of global import.
  4. ODS has partnered in a limited way with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) in the NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Program for Pediatric Researchers.