Professional Development Core

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Professional Development Core

The MCCTR's Professional Development Core provides extensive training and resources to foster the growth of Mississippi's next generation of obesity investigators and to increase their number, diversity, and success. The Professional Development Core oversees three programs: the Investigator Development Program, Mentor Academy, and Seminar Series. These programs aim to create a rich intellectual environment, promote investigator interactions, and provide targeted research investments to increase research collaboration among MCCTR investigators from diverse backgrounds and academic disciplines, and to foster the development of young, obesity-focused investigators with sustained, independent extramural funding.

  • Investigator Development Program: The Investigator Development Program (IDP) is designed to provide structured mentorship, training, protected research time, and substantial research support to promising obesity-focused early stage research faculty from all MCCTR partner institutions. In addition, the IDP works to enhance the research skills of junior faculty members through courses in the UMMC Master of Science in Clinical Investigation degree program as well as to increase the number and diversity of junior faculty members pursuing clinical, translational, and population research in obesity and related disorders. For more information, visit the funding opportunities page or contact
  • Mentor Academy: The Mentor Academy is designed to train junior investigators to become effective research and career mentors. Candidates will be selected by the MCCTR Mentor Academy leadership and Steering Committee. Faculty from all in-state MCCTR partners will be eligible to apply to the Mentor Academy, which will be held on the UMMC campus. For more information or to submit an application to join the Mentor Academy, contact
  • Joint¬†Seminar Series: The MCCTR Seminar Series offers monthly seminars as a forum for the presentation of high-impact obesity-related research and as an opportunity for junior investigators to present their research and receive feedback. The MCCTR works closely with the Mississippi Center for Obesity Research and the Cardiorenal and Metabolic Diseases Research Center to promote the series and to accommodate campus visits by accomplished scientists. Visit our homepage to see the latest seminar information or our news page to view past seminar flyers.

Core faculty

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John E. Hall, PhD, Professional Development Core Leader 

Dr. Hall is the Arthur C. Guyton Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at UMMC and the Director of the Mississippi Center for Obesity Research.

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Michael J. Ryan, PhD, Mentor Academy Director

Dr. Ryan is a Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at UMMC, Director of Graduate Studies in Physiology, and Associate Dean of the School of Graduate Studies in Health Sciences.