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About the Botanical Dietary Supplements Research Center Postdoctoral Training Program


A specific aim of the BDSRC is to expand the critical mass of investigators addressing botanical research by identifying, recruiting and mentoring promising young investigators. The objective of this program is to train both M.D. and Ph.D. postdoctoral fellows to become productive research scientists capable of establishing scientific careers that further the efforts to understand the role of botanicals on the complex interactions between genetic, molecular and physiological aspects of the metabolic syndrome.

Complementary Approaches

Individuals who may be well versed in plant discovery and identification may need to have their approach complemented by molecular, genetic and physiologic approaches. We aim to bridge the divide between the plant discovery/characterization approach and the molecular biology/physiological approach by providing training in these areas and by selecting research projects for the postdoctoral fellows that are particularly appropriate to this approach and that address the overall theme of our center.

 

Cutting Edge Technology

Each postdoctoral fellow will be encouraged to develop these transdisciplinary research efforts to understand the effect and action of botanicals on components of the metabolic syndrome. The program will take advantage of the cutting-edge technologies and the wide range of research efforts related to metabolic syndrome that are available at Pennington Biomedical, while having access to expertise in botanical research and novel botanical compounds as available through the Botanical Core in collaboration with the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology at Rutgers University.

 

Committment to Training

This broad-based, training program will enable trainees to establish successful research careers in academia, academic medicine, governmental agencies, and in the private sector in the study of botanicals and metabolic disease. The scientists of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, LSU Ag Center and the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology at Rutgers University, as part of their collaboration for this BDSRC, are committed to training in research and see this as inseparable from their goal of excellence in botanical research.

 

Accredited Coursework

Pennington scientists realize the value of postdoctoral trainees to our research mission and they acknowledge their desire to participate in the training of postdoctoral researchers.

We have established accredited coursework in nutrition at LSU taught by our faculty and designed specifically for high level predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees. The faculty committed themselves and the Center to the enhancement of postdoctoral training by setting goals of establishing more postdoctoral training positions and a more systematic training program. To assure progress, the Executive Director established an administrative division, Scientific Education, whose mission includes coordinating educational programs, resources, and activities for postdoctoral trainees.

The development of curricula in research methods and professional development, along with extensive trainee tracking, has helped insure that all postdocs at PBRC are indeed treated as trainees who are being prepared to become independent researchers and not merely good laboratory technicians. The value that postdoctoral trainees play in the mission of Pennington Biomedical can be best demonstrated by how they are treated and respected as emerging junior scientists in the field. It is this “culture” of supporting postdocs that has awarded Pennington Biomedical the distinction of being recognized as one of the highest-ranked institutions in The Scientist’s annual listing of Best Places to Work for Postdocs. Pennington Biomedical was ranked 4th on the 2012 listing, among a highly prestigious selection of research institutions.

 

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