NIH Chemosensory Training Program (CTP)

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Chemosensory Fall 2020 Retreat is Virtual

November 20, 2020 - Registration is now open!  Please register by November 18.

Agenda and LINKS for registered zoom conference IDs

Download copy of the Retreat Poster here 

Please join us for this year's Chemosensory Retreat on Friday, November 20, from 2 to 5:30 pm.  Florida State CTP Trainees proudly welcome our chemosensory neighbors at the University of Florida Smell and Taste Institute, Monell Chemical Senses Center, and the Rocky Mountain Smell and Taste of the University of Colorado, Denver as our special guests to the retreat.  

We know predoctoral and postdoctoral scholars are trying to adapt to new communication platforms and are likely more isolated in terms of their normal research interactions during the pandemic.  Therefore, this year's retreat is 100% professional development!  The theme this year is Interviewing in a Virtual Space.  The afternoon will kick off with an introduction and keynote address by Megan Crowe, FSU Assistant Director of Career Advising and Counseling, on “Personal Branding and Communication.” Next, attendees will break out into parallel mock interview sessions where participants can observe mock interviews moderated by FSU CTP alumni for various positions including graduate school, postdoctoral fellowships, assistant professorships, industry scientist positions, government scientist positions, or other non-academic positions. The afternoon will conclude with an opportunity for participants to network and engage with fellow chemosensory scientists and other interested students and scientists during a social hour using “Gathertown”. 


NIH Chemosensory Training Grant Program (CTP) is currently searching for diversity scholars at both the postdoctoral and predoctoral training appointment

We are excited to announce that the VP for Research and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida State University are sponsoring two predoctoral and one postdoctoral diversity scholars in association with our long-standing CTP training grant program, effective immediately.   Diversity eligibility is based upon the NIH definition for underrepresented individuals that encompasses ethnic origin, race, disability, and economic hardship.  Please refer to this site for qualification specifics.  The Postdoctoral opportunity is ongoing and those at the predoctoral level are generally timed with standard graduate admission cycles (Dec. 1, 2020 for Fall 2021 start date and Oct. 31, 2021 for Spring 2022 start date).  Applications should submit (SINGLE PDF) a cover letter explicitly addressing the qualifications for this position; paragraph describing their long-term career goals; 1-2 page research statement (length excludes citations); detailed curriculum vitae; and the names, email, and addresses for three professional references to:  Debra Ann Fadool, CTP Director.

Both Pre- and Postdoctoral Scholars select a mentor from our team of faculty trainers and are encouraged to directly contact one or a number of trainers for employment opportunities and specific application procedures.  Scholars participate in semester-long rotating series of reading / practicum group with the trainers, annual special lecture series in the chemical senses, conference travel presentation of their research, and professional development activities with the CTP trainers or FSU postdoctoral association.  Scholars are expected to develop an IDP with their selected mentor, and are coached in grant writing exercises to apply for extramural awards and fellowships.  Appointments are provided access to health insurance benefits, retirement option plans, seminole savings program, and an annual training-related expense budget dependent upon pre- or postdoctoral trainning level.  Salary is commensurate with level of experience as set by NIH institutional training grant guidelines.

Postdoctoral Trainer expertise ranges from exploration of gustatory and olfactory central coding, taste psychophysics, regulation of ingestive behavior, neuromodulation of ion channels, disruption of olfactory sensory signaling and circuitry attributed to diabetes and obesity, anxiety/threat, or gustatory physiology, olfactory bulb synaptic physiology, and TAAR signaling.  Applicants will have the opportunity to train in the laboratory of

Dr. Adam Dewan (https://neuro.fsu.edu/faculty/adewan),

Dr. Debra Ann Fadool (http://neuro.fsu.edu/faculty/dafadool),

Dr. Elizabeth Hammock (https://neuro.fsu.edu/faculty/ehammock), 

Dr. Wen Li (http://neuro.fsu.edu/faculty/wenli),

Dr. Alan Spector (http://neuro.fsu.edu/faculty/spector/), 

Dr. Douglas Storace (https://neuro.fsu.edu/faculty/dstorace),

Dr. Paul Trombley (https://neuro.fsu.edu/faculty/trombley), or

Dr. Roberto Vincis (https://neuro.fsu.edu/faculty/rvincis),

along with mentorship by other preceptors on the NIH institutional training grant. Current research focus of these laboratories is to investigate the impact of metabolic disorders (obesity/diabetes) or anxiety/threat on chemosensory function, behavior, and physiology and uses a combinatorial, multidisciplinary approach.  We are seeking creative, self-motivated individuals who have strong experimental experiences and the drive to pursue challenging, rigorous studies in the chemical senses.  Experimental approaches employed in these laboratories include slice electrophysiology, in vivo awake recording, dynamic clamp, use of optical probes and calcium imaging, whole-nerve recording, optogentic and chemogenetic recording, fMRI, EEG/MEG, behavioral phenotyping, ion channel structure/function studies, protein-protein interactions, whole-animal metabolic phenotyping, tissue culture, psychophysical studies of sensory-mediated behaviors, confocal microscopy, olfactometry, genetically-modified mouse models, transection and lesion analysis of central sensory structures, ingestive behavior phenotyping following gastric bypass surgery, and taste preference testing. 

Predoctoral Hiring Requirements -

  • Bachelor's or Master's Degree (in biology, psychology, neuroscience, physiology, mathematics, cell or molecular biology) is required.
  • On-site or virtual interview with the trainers (preliminary screening at graduate recruitment days)
  • US Citizenship
  • Applicant should previous research expertise in one or more of the experimental approaches and strong long-term career ambition as a research scientist in the discipline of Chemical Senses
  • Strong academic promise and technical aptitude.

Postdoctoral Hiring Requirements - 

  • Doctorate (MD and/or Ph.D. in medicine, biology, psychology, neuroscience, physiology, cell or molecular biology) is required.
  • On-site or virtual interview with the trainers
  • US Citizenship
  • Applicant should demonstrate published expertise in one or more of the experimental approaches and strong long-term career ambition as a research scientist in the discipline of Chemical Senses. 
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.

Preference Given -

  • Candidates who are recent bachelor or doctoral graduates
  • Candidates with past experience and future career interest as independent researchers in the chemosensory discipline
  • Strong scholastic aptitude
  • Highly motivated to join an interactive training program in the neurosciences

For questions concerning the Chemosensory Training Grant Program and its opportunities, please contact Debra Ann Fadool.


History      

Florida State University remains a rich training ground for postdoctoral scholars in the Chemosensory Sciences, initiating from pioneers in this discipline that built this scientific strength upon joining the university.   Professor Lloyd Beidler was called "the father of taste physiology",  coming to FSU in 1950, just as the university was making the transition to status as a major research institution, and his influence was strongly felt in the formation of the Department of Biological Science in 1956 from a collection of small teaching departments and the university's transformation into a major force in neuroscience research.  Professor Pasquale Graziadei was the first to propose in 1966, then demonstrate, that olfactory receptor neurons were continually generated in vivo – from the population of globose basal cells. He showed that olfactory neuron axons were critical in inducing the formation of their target, the olfactory bulb, during normal development.   Professor Michael Meredith joined FSU in 1981, and has been instrumental in guiding the field in functionally mapping brain regions responsible for socially relevant and non-relevant stimuli and exploring the effect of reproductive experience on chemosensory transmission.  Professors Meredith and Mark Berkley formally originated our Program in Neuroscience in 1991, and Meredith launched a successful training of predoctoral students and postdoctoral scholars by securing a training grant from the National Institutes of Health at the NIDCD in 1995.  We are currently in our twenty-fifth year of the program and have graduated over 50 chemosensory scientists that hold positions in academia, industry, and the government sector.   Professor Debra Ann Fadool serves as director of the program, joined by the new assistant director, Professor Paul Trombley.


NIH Chemosensory Training Grant Program Today

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2015-2016 Trainees and Faculty Preceptors:  (front row) -Sean Odgen, Korshunov, Kassi Ferguson, Genevieve Bell, Michelle Bale, Erminia Fardone, (back row) - Debi Fadool, Lisa Eckel, Michael Meredith, Alan Spector, and Paul Trombley
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2016-2017 Trainees and Faculty Preceptors:  (front row) - Kirill Korshunov, Genevieve Bell, Sarah Baisley, Michelle Bale, Paul Trombley, (middle row) - Brandon Chelette, Wen Li, Debi Fadool, and Lisa Eckel,  (back row) - Tom Houpt, Michael Meredith, and Sean Ogden
CTP Wakulla 2018
2017-2018 Trainees, Faculty Preceptors, and Associates at the Wakulla Springs Retreat:  Special Guest Keynote Speaker:  Charles Greer (center backrow)
Rachel Herz CTP 2019
2018-2019 Trainees and Faculty Preceptors:  (front row) - Paul Trombley, Rachel Herz (guest book author!), Kellie Hyde, and Marena Bass, (middle row) - Douglas Storace, Roberto Vincis, Debi Fadool, Kevin Clancy, and Brandon Chelette, (back row):  Troy Lowry

Chemosensory Fall 2018 Retreat at Wakulla Springs

November 14, 2018, noon to 5:30 pm

Retreat Flyer and Schedule - Available here

There will be a fall Chemosensory Training Grant Retreat at Wakulla Springs State Park at the Dogwood Pavilion.  The event is for our chemosensory trainees (postdoctoral and predoctoral), faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and interested scientists and students.  Members of the Program in Neuroscience, Biomedical Science, and Biological Science communities are encouraged to attend.  Students enrolled in our new Neuroscience Undergraduate Major are especially encouraged to participate!  The timing of the keynote addresss will approximately coincide with our normal colloquium time on Wednesdays, but in a special environment!!  Everyone with an interest in chemosensory research (and a love of expert neuroanatomy!) is welcomed.  We will start the afternoon with a picnic lunch on the deck outside the pavilion.  Each of our supported trainees will provide 12- minute talks of their progress and future research plans that cover the physiology, behavior, molecular, or psychophysical explorations of olfaction or taste.  Following the short talks, we will take a break and enjoy a one hour river cruise for the mid afternoon.  We will then return for a special keynote address by Dr. Charles Greer, Department of Neurosurgery & Neuroscience, Yale School of Medicine who will speak  on "Determinants of cell fate in the olfactory system". An excerpt describing his lecture can be found below.   

Summary:

              "The mechanisms regulating cell fate in the 6-layer neocortex have been widely studied.  Seminal insights from these studies have emerged into the role(s) of transcription factor up- and down-regulation, the impact of sensory experience and the importance of neurogenesis timing and migration.   In contrast, fewer studies have explored the operative mechanisms in 3-layer paleocortex (piriform and tubercle) or the olfactory bulb.  I will explore recent studies from my lab that address how mitral cell fate (location) in the olfactory bulb is a determinant of the type of input they receive.  Then, using a system we recently developed to track the origins and migration of paleocortical pyramidal neurons, we can discuss the features that distinguish neuronal fate in olfactory cortices versus neocortex." - Charles Greer


Chemosensory Fall 2016 Retreat at Wakulla Springs

September 30th, noon to 5:30 pm

Retreat Flyer and Schedule 'Click' here  to download 

Check out photos from the Event - 'Click here' to view

There was a fall Chemosensory Training Grant Retreat at Wakulla Springs State Park at the Dogwood Pavilion.  The event was for our chemosensory trainees (postdoctoral and predoctoral), faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and interested scientists and students.  Everyone with an interest in chemosensory research was welcomed.  We started the afternoon with a picnic lunch on the deck outside the pavilion.  Each of our supported trainees provided 12- minute talks of their progress and future research plans that covered the physiology, behavior, molecular, or psychophysical explorations of olfaction or taste.  Following the short talks, we took a break and enjoyed a one hour river cruise for the mid afternoon.  We returned for a special keynote address by Dr. Robert J. Lee of the University of Pennsylvania  who spoke on "Bitter bodyguards and sweet sentinels:  taste receptors in airway immunity". An excerpt from his research page can be found below.   

 

"We study the epithelial cells that line the airway.  When airway cell function goes awry, it can lead to diseases such as cystic fibrosis (CF), asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), and allergy.  To understand how airway cells sense and respond to pathogens, we combine biochemistry and molecular biology with real-time measurements of airway cell signaling and associated physiological responses, including ciliary beating, calcium signaling, fluid secretion, ion transport, nitric oxide production, and antimicrobial peptide secretion.  Our goal is to better understand the cellular and molecular basis of airway diseases to identify novel molecular targets for new therapies." - Robert Lee

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