The Research Development Core provides support for career development of junior faculty and more senior investigators who wish to apply their expertise in related research areas to basic aging research. To accomplish these aims, the Core administers a Pilot Project Program and an Emerging Technologies Program. The other main function served by the Research Development Core is to coordinate mentoring activities for junior/new investigators. For several mentoring activities, the Core acts to coordinate activities between the Administrative/Program Enrichment Core and the research resources cores. Pilot Project Program: The Pilot Project Program provides the main vehicle by which faculty are selected for support by the Research Development Core. Following review by 2 external reviewers and the San Antonio Nathan Shock Center Executive Committee, Pilot Project grants of up $50,000 are awarded in three categories: (1) Projects submitted by junior faculty who are emerging as independent investigators; (2) Projects submitted by senior faculty members who have not previously been involved in aging research; (3) Special projects examining novel ideas of high programmatic relevance to aging research at UTHSCSA. Emerging Technologies Program: The Emerging Technologies Program is a new venture of the Core intended to facilitate rapid and optimal use of emerging technologies available at UTHSCSA to researchers working in aging. There are several outstanding University Cores available to Center faculty at the institution; particularly, the Core Optical Imaging Facility serves to provide state-of-the-art facilities for imaging as applied to aging research. We will offer personnel support, funds for research supplies, and service fees in 4-6 awards for a total of $40,000 per year under this program. Mentoring Activities: 25 senior faculty members have agreed to participate in mentoring activities. The primary activity will be to assist successful applicants in the Pilot Project Program to use their findings resulting from their awards to become established members of the biological gerontology community and to obtain major extramural awards. Additionally, a new mentoring initiative will expedite interactions between basic scientists and clinicians. Selected junior/new faculty whose research has translational aspects will be matched with appropriate clinicians under the guidance of two senior clinical faculty members.
The Research Development Core is a required component of the Nathan Shock Center. By providing support to Center faculty in the form of pilot grants, and salary/supplies to support emerging technologies in faculty research in aging, the Core acts to expand the scope of research in the basic biology of aging at UTHSCSA and to maintain the preeminence of this institution in the field of aging research. By mentoring new investigators, the Core helps to create the next generation of researchers in biological gerontology.
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