Another unique aspect of the training program in Endocrinology and Metabolism at The University of Chicago is that it offers the time, the resources, and the mentorship for fellows to develop into independent researchers.
Basic Science Research
Fellows interested in basic science research will be provided an in-depth, laboratory-based training experience in the latest molecular, cellular and biophysical techniques utilized in endocrinology and metabolism research, and their application to clinical medicine. In the initial months of the program, the fellow selects a laboratory and formulates a research project under the guidance of their chosen mentor. Those trainees without prior formal basic science training will be encouraged to take selected classes relevant to their research. These classes are offered within the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago and are free of charge to trainees. In addition, since several of the potential mentors from our section are key faculty in the Committee for Molecular Metabolism and Nutrition (CMMN) Ph.D. program, they can guide trainees in their selection of appropriate courses from the CMMN curriculum.
Clinical Investigator Track
Fellows interested in clinical research will learn how to design and execute clinical research protocols. Upon entering the program, the fellow will select a clinical research project and, working closely with their mentor, acquire skills in data design and interpretation. An important aspect of training a successful clinical investigator is the trainee’s acquisition of skill in statistical analysis of clinical data. Didactic courses in both statistics and other relevant areas are offered as part of the formal training through Essentials in Patient Oriented Research (EPOR) lecture series and the Summer Program in Outcomes Research Training (SPORT).
Mentorship and Research Committees
Every fellow will have a research committee based on their research interests. This will include their faculty mentor(s) as well as faculty not directly involved so the fellow gets outside feedback. Research is truly interdisciplinary at the University of Chicago and mentorship for research includes faculty both within and outside the section. Over the past several years, we have had faculty in sleep medicine, general internal medicine, gastroenterology, and maternal fetal medicine, serve as mentors or collaborators for our fellows.
Preparation for Independent Research Careers
During the third and subsequent years, trainees gain additional experience which prepares them for independent research careers. An area of research is identified which will build on the expertise acquired by the trainee during the first two years of training, but allows the opportunity to develop some independence from the research preceptor. Senior fellows also take a more active role in teaching junior trainees. During this phase, the trainee is expected to develop preliminary data in an area which is substantially identified as his/her own to be able to compete effectively for a junior faculty position and independent research funding. K grant writing workshops are available to assist fellows apply for independent funding. At the end of their fellowship, fellows may also be candidates for research pathways within the University that allow for protected time for research.
We are extremely proud of our fellows’ work. Recent publications by our fellows include:
- Individualized Therapy for Hypothyroidism: Is T4 Enough for Everyone? Ettleson MD, Bianco AC. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020 Sep 1;105(9):e3090–104. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa430.
- Liothyronine and Desiccated Thyroid Extract in the Treatment of Hypothyroidism. Idrees T, Palmer S, Maciel RMB, Bianco AC. Thyroid. 2020 May 12. doi: 10.1089/thy.2020.0153.
- Extended Absorption of Liothyronine from Poly-Zinc-Liothyronine: Results from a Phase 1, Double-Blind, Randomized, and Controlled Study in Humans. Dumitrescu, E AM, Hanlon EC, Arosemena M, Duchon O, Ettleson M, Giurcanu M, Bianco AC. Thyroid 2022:32(2).
- Clinical predictors of symptom improvement failure in gastroparesis. Amjad W, Doycheva I, Kamal F, Malik A, Pandu A, Shabbir MA, Mumtaz M, Batool A, Ukleja A. Ann Gastro 2022; 35 (2): 119-126.
- Sociodemographic Disparities in the Treatment of Hypothyroidism: NHANES 2007–2012. Ettleson M, Bianco AC, Zhu M, Laiteerapong N. J Endo Soc 2021:5(7).
- Cell-Free DNA Fragments as Biomarkers of Islet β-Cell Death in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. Arosemena M, Meah FA, Mather KJ, Tersey SA, Mirmira R. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 2151.
- Obesity and Breast Cancer Risk: The Oncogenic Implications of Metabolic Dysregulation. Naaman S, Shen S, Zeytinoglu M, Iyengar NM. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2022 (E-pub ahead of print)