The University of Chicago has received a new Research Education Training Program grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to develop a program to train and inspire students at the Pritzker School of Medicine to pursue careers in diabetes research. The program will offer students a full continuum of training, from basic science and translational research to the type of interdisciplinary care needed to care for patients with diabetes.
The program, called DULCE (Diabetes InqUiry through a Learning Collaborative Experience), will provide students with concrete experiences in diabetes research, clinical care, reflective observation through regular meetings with peers and physician scientists, learning of new theories through participation in multidisciplinary clinical and research seminars, and application of new concepts through an intensive mentored research project.
The DULCE program will be led by Arshiya Baig, MD, MPH, FACP, Associate Professor of Medicine, and Marshall Chin, MD, MPH, the Richard Parillo Family Distinguished Service Professor of Healthcare Ethics, plus more than 35 core faculty members who will serve as mentors to trainees. The R25 grant will provide $513,000 over five years from the NIDDK, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
Currently, more than 34 million adults in the United States (13% of Americans) have diabetes, and that number is expected to grow to 60 million (17%) by 2060. The goal of the DULCE program is to support educational activities that complement the training of a physician scientist workforce to meet the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs for this growing segment of patients that are currently not available to medical students. It will provide a longitudinal experience with seminars and clinical shadowing over the first two years of medical school along with two research blocks totaling 16 weeks of dedicated research time.
“This combination of diabetes scientific information and clinical exposure to understand the nature of diabetes and diabetes care will inspire students for diabetes research careers,” Baig said. “The strong clinical, translational, and basic science environment at the University of Chicago and the complementary programs already established at the Pritzker School of Medicine will prepare students who participate in the DULCE program for global leadership in diabetes research in an increasingly interdisciplinary health care delivery system.”
Originally reported in BSD News, 3/30/2023