Training: ITED

 

 

The Integrated Training in Engineering and Diabetes (ITED) Program has leveraged Vanderbilt's unique multidisciplinary, highly collaborative culture in engineering and biomedical research to create a vibrant training program for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows involved in the application of engineering approaches to advance research in diabetes and metabolic diseases.

 

The proximity of engineering, basic biomedical science, and clinical departments on Vanderbilt’s campus, as well as a culture that encourages shared mentorship and collaboration, have proven to be key ingredients for establishing an effective interdisciplinary training program. These relationships are formalized by the unique dual-mentoring structure that is central to the ITED program, where one advisor is required to have an engineering background and the other must be a researcher with expertise in diabetes. Interactions between trainees and faculty from different backgrounds are further reinforced through formal didactic coursework, seminar programs, retreats, and journal clubs that integrate topics from bioengineering, endocrinology, and diabetes.

 

schematic  

Left: Students and postdocs are recruited from an engineering or quantitative science background, and are trained in diabetes-related research areas using a dual-mentor approach. Their development as multidisciplinary scientists is facilitated by focused coursework and enriched by ITED program activities (seminars, retreats and journal clubs).

 

 


 

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE


Diabetes is a complex disease, and understanding its complexity is critical for creating new clinical therapies to control the current diabetes epidemic, better treat its complications, and lead to an eventual cure.  Because engineering approaches have proven useful for solving complex biomedical problems, we propose to train a new multi-disciplinary work force with the skills needed to integrate both engineering and diabetes research approaches.  This will be accomplished through formal course work and an unconventional dual mentor arrangement, where each student or postdoctoral trainee is supervised by one advisor with an engineering background and another from the diabetes research field. 

 


 

2021-2022 TRAINEES

 

photo

 

Hayden Pagendarm

Research Description: To examine the role of exosomes and other extracellular vesicles (EVs) as cancer therapeutics

Preceptor: John Wilson, PhD

icon PhD student 

 

photo

 

Kyra Smart

Research Description: Understanding the progression of metastatic breast cancer and the mechanism by which diabetic hyperglycemia can worsen cancer prognosis

Preceptor: Cynthia Reinhart-King, PhD

icon PhD student 

 

 

photo

 

Deveena Banerjee

Research Description: Exploring the role of G6pc2 on islet and whole-body metabolism

Preceptor: Jamey Young, PhD

icon PhD student 

 

photo

 

Blythe Hospelhorn

Research Description: Quantitative understanding of transcription regulation in eukaryotic cells

Preceptor: Gregor Neuert, PhD

icon PhD student 

 

photo

 

Angela Kruse, PhD

Research Description: 3-D molecular reconstruction of the human pancreas using integrated light sheet microscopy and imaging mass spectrometry 

Preceptors: Richard Caprioli, PhD; Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, PhD

icon Postdoc 


 

ADDITIONAL DETAILS:

  •  

    2019-2020 TRAINEES

     

    photo

     

    Greg Berumen

    Research Description: Exploring extracellular vesicles, specifically in the context of breast cancer and how cellular communication between different cells is altered after irradiation therapy

    Preceptor: Marjan Rafat, PhD

    icon PhD student 

     

    photo

     

    Sam Thompson

    Research Description: iPSC-derived model systems for analysis of neurovascular metabolism

    Preceptors: Ethan Lippmann, PhD; Jamey Young, PhD

    icon PhD student 

     

     

    photo

     

    Kevin Corn

    Research Description: Evaluating the effect of obesity on immune cell behavior following normal tissue damage

    Preceptors: Marjan Rafat, PhD; Alyssa Hasty, PhD

    icon PhD student 

     

    photo

     

    Lucinda Pastora

    Research Description: Liver-targeted nanoparticle-mediated delivery of cGAS and STING antagonists for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

    Preceptors: John Wilson, PhD; Alyssa Hasty, PhD

    icon PhD student 

     

    photo

     

    Jason Hughes

    Research Description: Understanding the molecular mechanism of chromatin regulation in kinetic environments 

    Preceptors: Gregor Neuert, PhD; Roland Stein, PhD

    icon PhD student 

     

    photo

     

    Deborah Roby, PhD

    Research Description: Capillary endothelial structure and function on skeletal muscle insulin resistance

    Preceptors: David Wasserman, PhD; Cynthia Reinhart-King, PhD

    icon Postdoc 

     

    photo

     

    Kelsey Voss, PhD

    Research Description: T cell metabolism and CRISPR screens to identify new targets in type I diabetes

    Preceptors: Jeffrey Rathmell, PhD; Jamey Young, PhD

    icon Postdoc 

     


     

    2018-2019 TRAINEES

     

    photo

     

    Sarah Sacco

    Research Description: Metabolic determinants of lipotoxicity in hepatocytes

    Preceptors: Jamey Young, PhD; Richard O'Brien, PhD

    icon PhD student 

     

    photo

     

    Lauren Griggs, PhD

    Research Description: Isolating and analyzing collagen from a diabetic mouse model

    Preceptors: Cynthia Reinhart-King; Ambra Pozzi, PhD

    icon Postdoc 

     

     

    photo

     

    Lauren Boller

    Research Description: Assessing the cellular response to osteoinductive bone grafts

    Preceptors: Scott Guelcher, PhD; Julie Sterling, PhD

    icon PhD student 

     

    photo

     

    Nicholas Marinelli

    Research Description: Utilizing the iPSC model to better understand native BBB metabolism and how it becomes altered under conditions that relate to diabetes (e.g. hyperglycemia)

    Preceptors: Ethan Lippmann, PhD; David Wasserman, PhD

    icon PhD student 

     

     


     

    2016-2017 TRAINEES

     

    photo

     

    Stephanie Dudzinski

    Research Description: Enhancing immunotherapy efficacy in obesity

    Preceptors: Todd Giorgio, PhD; Jeffrey Rathmell, PhD

    icon PhD student 

     

    photo

     

    Nicholas Mignemi, PhD

    Research Description: The role in skeletal muscle vascular alteration in insulin resistance

    Preceptors: Owen McGuiness, PhD; Craig Duvall, PhD

    icon Postdoc 

     

     


     

    2015-2016 TRAINEES

     

    photo

     

    Clinton Hasenour, PhD

    Research Description

    Preceptors: Jamey Young, PhD; David Wasserman, PhD

    icon Postdoc 

     

    photo

     

    Bryan Dollinger

    Research Description: Protection of pancreatic islets from cytotoxic ROS in PPS-based, thermoresponsive hydrogels

    Preceptors: Craig Duvall, PhD; Al Powers, MD

    icon PhD student 

     

    photo

     

    Myriam Diaz

    Research Description:  

    Preceptors: Brian Welch, PhD; Masakazu Shiota, DVM, PhD

    icon PhD student 

     

    photo

     

    Christian Meyer

    Research Description: Developing methods to induce endocrine transdifferentation based on simulations of gene regulatory networks

    Preceptors: Vito Quaranta, MD; Scott Guelcher, PhD; Christopher Wright, DPhil

    icon PhD student 

     

    photo

     

    Amy Creecy

    Research Description: The effect of type 2 diabetes on bone matrix

    Preceptors: Jeffrey Nyman, PhD; Maureen Gannon, PhD

    icon PhD student 

     


     

    2014-2015 TRAINEES

     

    photo

     

    Matthew Dickerson, PhD

    Research Description

    Preceptors: David Jacobson, PhD; Matthew Lang, PhD

    icon Postdoc 

     

    photo

     

    John Martin

    Research Description: Investigating the local delivery of siRNA from ROS-degradable tissue engineering scaffolds to promote healing in diabetic wounds in rats

    Preceptors: Craig Duvall, PhD; Jeffrey Davidson, PhD

    icon PhD student 

     


The Integrated Training in Engineering and Diabetes (ITED) Program is supported by NIH grant T32 DK101003 and by the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research Center (NIH grant DK20593).