The primary rationale for the Duke Aging Center Postdoctoral Research Training Program (RTP) proposed here is to continue to train highly skilled research scientists who have strong backgrounds in substantive areas related to aging and who also have the potential for leadership in gerontological research. Each fellow is assigned a mentor or mentors and works within that person's research program;we also have an interdisciplinary seminar which all fellows must attend. Fellows typically spend two years in the RTP. The RTP faculty and their facilities enable outstanding research training in the following areas related to aging: biomedical (biochemistry, cardiology, endocrinology, epidemiology, immunology, neurology, neuroscience, neuroendocrinology, nutrition, oncology, physiology, pharmacology, psychiatry, and radiology);behavioral (behavioral medicine, neuropsychology, neuroeconomics, psychophysiology, clinical, developmental, cognitive, experimental, personality and social psychology): and social science (anthropology, economics, sociology, health services research). Fellows spend a significant portion of their time on research. They are integrated into their mentors'research programs and mentored through collaborative and independent research projects. All fellows and some faculty attend our weekly RTP seminar on research in aging. This seminar follows a structured curriculum on the biopsychosocial aspects of aging and the interdisciplinary nature of aging research, as well as professional development, research design and analysis, and research ethics. Potential fellows submit a detailed NIH-format research proposal (with input from their mentors), a curriculum vita, graduate transcripts, career and training plans, and letters of recommendation. Ultimately, most fellows either join university faculties or research organizations when they complete the RTP. We request support for 6 postdoctoral fellows. The Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development is the primary research training facility for fellows supported by this grant. Associated faculty members are located throughout the University and Medical Center.
The aging research completed by the fellows in the Duke Postdoctoral Research Training Program is highly relevant to public health concerns. The research covers aging from basic science (laboratory work) to clinical (in a wide variety of therapeutic areas) to epidemiological (population level databases). This translational approach to research in aging drives the application of new knowledge to clinical interventions that promote quality of life of older adults.
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