Research Training in Biogerontology

a MiCDA Research Project Description

Investigators: Scott Pletcher, Richard A. Miller, Neil Burton Alexander, James A. Ashton-Miller, David T. Burke, Gregory Dean Cartee, Ari Gafni, Steven A. Goldstein, Ao-Lin Hsu, Ursula H. Jakob, Evan T. Keller, Lisa M. Larkin, Geoffrey G. Murphy, Henry Paulson, Bruce C. Richardson, Raymond Yung, Patrick J. Hu, Shawn Xu, David Lombard, Susan Brooks Herzog

Funding: National Institute on Aging, 2010-2015 (2 T32 AG 000114 26)

The proposed program, ?Research Training in Biogerontology,? seeks a five-year continuation (-26 to -30) of our current award, a grant originally funded in 1985 and supported through April of 2010. Funds to support 6 predoctoral and 3 postdoctoral trainees are requested, matching current program size. This Program is situated within a Geriatrics Center that provides an exceptionally rich intellectual environment for research and training in the biology of aging, through its dedicated research space, Pepper Center, Nathan Shock Center, and GRECC core grants, multiple NIA-funded R01, U01, and P01 grants, and recent recruitment of new faculty. The Preceptor group includes 23 well-funded faculty members from 15 departments. The main goal of the Training Program is to select, train and prepare graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for careers as leaders in biological and biomedical aging research. Predoctoral trainees are accepted into the program only after they have completed departmental course requirements and embarked on full-time research programs. The main activity of each predoctoral and postdoctoral trainee is the development of a faculty-supervised research project leading to discoveries and peer-reviewed publications on important questions in the biology of aging. Trainee research projects are also expected to meet the highest professional standards in cognate disciplines of neuroscience, genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, immunology and physiology. In addition to discipline-specific training provided by the mentor and department, each trainee also benefits from Training Program activities that provide deep and broad background in modern aging research. These include a biweekly research series in which faculty presentations alternate with trainee research-in-progress talks; a monthly journal club; participation in Shock and Pepper Center annual research retreats; presentations at the annual Geriatrics Center research symposium; and opportunities to interact with guest speakers who visit each year to discuss topics in aging and geriatrics. Trainees also benefit from the University's well-established resources for training in the responsible conduct of research. The physical resources available to trainees through the Geriatrics Center and the University are outstanding, and include over 17,000 sq. ft. of wet lab space in the newly opened Biomedical Sciences Research Building, as well as the Medical Center's many sophisticated technical core facilities.