The overarching mission of the RCDC is to develop future leaders in aging research, focused in the area of UCLA's theme, Preventing Disease and Disability in Vulnerable Populations: a Translational Approach. The RCDC will promote the development of future research leaders who address this theme, particularly leaders who can integrate clinical insights regarding health, disease, independence, and disability in older adults with knowledge of advances in the basic sciences, including gerontology, to develop better interventions to maintain health and independence. The goals of the RCDC are to 1) identify junior faculty who have the greatest potential as future leaders in aging research to receive three year career development awards (CDAs), focused on our OAIC theme;2) foster the research training and careers of these junior scientists;3) provide a supportive environment for CDA awardees that maximizes the likelihood of successful training, research progress and ultimate career success;4) Include training in translational science principles and methods relevant to each trainee's needs;and 5) serve as a resource in aging-related research mentorship for UCLA junior faculty. In meeting these goals, the UCLA RCDC will also conduct outreach to minority CDA candidates, seek out candidates who have been clinically trained, and be attentive to the importance of minority populations'representation in research. The 4 candidate CDAs for Year 1 are conducting research related to UCLA's theme. Jordan Lake, MD, is an infectious disease specialist who is examining mechanisms by which chronic inflammation accelerates aging processes in HIV-infected persons. Judith Carroll, PhD, is a health psychologist and psychoneuroimmunologist whose work focuses on using sleep as a model to identify the biological mechanisms through which social, emotional, environmental and behavioral factors influence vulnerability for age-related disease, immunosenescence, and accelerated aging. Lee Jennings, MD, is a geriatrician who is examining the health care needs of older adults with HIV with the aims of improving the quality, access to and delivery of care to older persons with HIV. Gerardo Moreno, MD, is a family physician who is examining appropriate medication management among vulnerable older adults with chronic conditions and interventions including decision support, and clinical pharmacist consultations to improve medication management in primary care settings.

Public Health Relevance

There are too few researchers in aging, particularly leaders who can integrate clinical insights regarding health, disease, independence, and disability in older adults with recent advances in the basic sciences, including gerontology, to develop better interventions to maintain health and independence. One of the central goals of the UCLA OAIC is to identify junior faculty who want to enter careers in aging research and foster their growth so that they can thrive in an increasingly competitive research environment.

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National Institute on Aging (NIA)
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