Enrichment Program

Overview

The Enrichment Program of the Yale DRC, under the leadership of Drs. Tamas Horvath and Sonia Caprio, is designed to orchestrate a range of essential DRC activities that promote the open exchange of information and ideas among the diverse DRC membership, trainees conducting diabetes related research, and visiting scientists to create a stimulating environment for diabetes-related research at Yale University.

Our Enrichment activities include the following:

1) The weekly DRC-Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism Seminar Series, a collaboration of both the Sections of Adult and Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, which is attended by basic and clinical scientists throughout the Medical School, trainees, students, and local physicians in the community.

2) Diabetes-related Special Lectureships that bring distinguished visiting scientists to the School of Medicine for seminar programs or grand rounds in a variety of clinical and basic science departments at the School of Medicine. The goal is to stimulate interest in diabetes-related research from faculty that is not currently engaged in diabetes-related research.

3) The yearly Diabetes and Endocrinology Retreat designed to allow junior investigators to present their most recent diabetes-related research and receive constructive criticism.

4) The DRC Diabetes Research Day.

5) The Endowed Lectureship Series in Metabolism and Endocrinology.

The Yale DRC hosts three annual endowed lectures in which distinguished leaders in the fields of metabolism and endocrinology from around the world are invited to give 1-2 lectures at Yale Medical School: These lectureships are: 1) The John Peters Lectureship, 2) The John Baxter Lectureship and 3) The Arthur Broadus Lectureship.

Background

In 1993, the DRC initiated its Enrichment Program and soon after leveraged the DRC grant to supplement the program with donations from private sources, thereby allowing us to greatly expand its scope and quality.

In the second year, we sponsored our first annual DRC Symposium, initiated DRC-sponsored lectures in other departments, had the first annual retreat, and received funds to establish a Visiting Scientist Award. Finally, we have incorporated several Medical School Lectureships, namely the Peters, Baxter, and Broadus Visiting Professors (past leaders in endocrinology and metabolism) into the DRC Program by extending the visit of these visiting scientists for an additional day to promote research interactions with Yale DRC members.

The DRC Enrichment Program has had an enormous impact on diabetes research at Yale by allowing us to greatly expand the number of visiting scientists in areas related to diabetes. Prior to funding of the DRC only a minority of the speakers at the weekly research seminar focused on Diabetes and Endocrinology came from outside of Yale. Currently, most of the speakers are visiting scientists, thereby markedly increasing the exposure of our faculty and trainees to new concepts and information. The Diabetes Symposium or Research Day has attracted faculty and trainees from throughout Yale as well as endocrinologists throughout the state (attendance is ~150). These highly successful events have brought increased visibility to the DRC. Our support of lectureships within basic science departments has been, and we believe in the future will continue to be, critical for the growth and diversification of the Center. The success of this initiative is best seen in Immunobiology where the program has been in place the longest. By exposing a strong group of basic scientists to diabetes through this lecture series, we have stimulated interest in diabetes-related research among faculty with little prior interest in diabetes, interested postdoctoral fellows to pursue projects related to diabetes encouraged several DRC pilot projects, and stimulated the Section to develop a new program in Human Translational Immunology focused on type 1 diabetes prevention. The goal is to encourage interactions between basic and clinical scientists working in areas related to diabetes, a historical strength of Yale. Finally, our DRC retreat has served as a vehicle for DRC members to present their research. The focus is primarily on research of junior faculty and the principal benefit has been to increase collaborations and to provide scientific criticism.