Attention New Investigators in Obesity and Metabolic Disease!


One of the recurring themes in my posts is the need for far better treatments and preventative approaches to obesity.

There is simply so much about this condition that we do not yet understand or lack effective tools to address.

There continue to exist gaping knowledge gaps in everything from the basic physiology of energy homeostasis and the neurobiology of ingestive behaviour, to more practical issues around public policy and clinical management (the recent APPLES study shows just how modest our treatment results actually are).

I was therefore considerably impressed and encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm of the new investigators from across Canada, who attended a two-day workshop for new investigators hosted by the Canadian Institute of Health Research‘s (CIHR) Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (INMD) in Banff last week.

While I had the privilege of presenting and chairing a session, it was not the faculty that was exciting – it was the quality and dedication of the new investigators – many of who have just received their first faculty appointments (assistant professorships) at a Canadian university and are still busy finding their bearings in an increasingly competitive and demanding academic environment.

Thus, the talks on grant writing, identifying funding opportunities, building partnerships, balancing teaching, research and clinical commitments, all whilst trying to maintain some degree of work-life balance were very much appreciated and gave much fodder for discussion.

No doubt Canada will need to encourage and continue to develop capacity in the area of obesity research – this is where the goals of CIHR-INMD fully align with the goals of the Canadian Obesity Network (which partnered with INMD for this event).

Indeed, this year will not only again host its 9th Annual Obesity Research Bootcamp for PhD students, post-docs and young researchers (Kananaskis, AB, July 19-27) but will also be hosting its 4th biennial National Obesity Student Meeting (Waterloo,ON,  June 18-21).

Anyone interested in attending either of these events (both of which are also open to international trainees) should refer to the application and submission details on the Canadian Obesity Network website.

Edmonton, AB