Funds are requested to continue a series of Summer Training Courses in Experimental Aging Research that will be held in June from 2013 through 2017. The five-day Course will be directed by Dr. Richardson at the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The course site will rotate among three host institutions: the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, TX, the Buck Institute for Age Research at Novato, CA, and the University of Washington at Seattle, WA. Similar courses have been held with great success every summer since 1993. The Course is designed to provide trainees with intensive exposure to modern research in experimental biogerontology and individualized guidance regarding the development of a research proposal. Each year's enrollment will be limited to 20 researchers. Most trainees will be in the formative stages of their careers (i.e., junior faculty in their firstfour years or postdoctoral fellows in the last year of their fellowship), but the Course also will consider senior investigators who wish to enter or redirect their efforts to an area of aging research. Each trainee is expected to have at least two years of productive laboratory experience in some aspect of biology beyond the doctoral degree (MD, PhD, or DVM). The five-day program will include the following four activities: (a) two "overview" lectures designed to introduce trainees to the context, latest findings, and main unanswered questions in major areas of biogerontology, (b) an opportunity for each trainee to present his or her Specific Aims for a research project that will be critiqued by the Training Faculty, (c) a research seminar presented by a prominent faculty member of the host or nearby institution, who will cover a topic or disease aspect not covered in the overview lectures, and (d) a discussion of grant writing and agencies (e.g., NIA) that fund research in aging. Thus, the Summer Training Course will provide junior researchers initiating research in aging with a solid foundation in modern experimental gerontology and provides a useful perspective to more senior scientists who are developing new programs in aging research. Four scientists will serve as the Course Steering Committee and will be responsible for selecting the trainees and organizing the Courses each year: Arlan Richardson, the Course Director/PI, Holly Van Remmen (Co-Director/Co-PI), who will host the Course at San Antonio (TX), Judith Campisi (Co-PI), who will host the Course at Novato (CA), and Peter Rabinovitch (Co-PI) who will host the Course at Seattle (WA). Fifteen other researchers in aging will serve as Training Faculty, attending the course every two or three years: Julie Anderson, Steve Austad, Nir Barzilai, Anne Bronikowski, Ana Maria Cuervo, John Disterhoft, Michal Jazwinski, Matt Kaeberlein, James Kirkland, Richard Miller, Charlotte Peterson, Scott Pletcher, Thomas Rando, Jan Vijg, and Hui Zheng. The Training Faculty have extensive experience in research in aging as well as a strong record of grant support and reviewing research grants.
As the U.S. population ages, there is a need to train a cadre of researchers who are equipped to apply the progress being made in biomedical research to problems relevant to the biology of aging and age- related disease. The Summer Training Course in Experimental Aging Research is designed to fill this need. Each year, the Course will provide 20 researchers at formative stages of their careers, or senior researchers wishing to enter an area of aging research, with intense exposure to major questions in the field and individualized critiques and advice on their research plans.