The goal of this T32 program is to train new independent investigators who will utilize contemporary genetic and molecular genetic techniques to investigate the underlying mechanisms of aging. The rationale for the focus of our program can be succinctly summarized as follows: 1) The genetic approach to the analysis of the biology and pathobiology of aging has special merit that, by definition, it deals with primary, constitutional, heritable, controls of gene action and thus can inform us as to fundamental mechanisms. 2) The tools for the molecular genetic approach to the pathobiology of aging are becoming increasingly rich and diverse. We thus believe that this focus for gerontological research will be applied with increasing frequency and success. While this may seem obvious given today's prominence of molecular genetics, until recently the field of gerontology did not have so rich a historical background in use of genetic approaches. Thus, we believe there is a need for more investigators who are trained in the principles and methods of genetic analysis and in gerontology. Such training is the primary goal of this program. The program currently supports 8 pre- and 8 post-doctoral trainees, and we request to sustain these numbers. We provide continuity of training by typically providing support for 3-4 (pre-doc) or 2-3 (post-doc) years. Predoctoral candidates ordinarily begin in their 2nd year of graduate training and post-docs in their 1st year of post-graduate training. The relevance of this program to public health is rooted in fact that age is the primary risk factor for disease in our population: diseases associated with aging are the chief health burden to our society and the primary cause of reduced quality of life. An increased understanding of the genetic mechanisms responsible for the processes that contribute to the burden of disease in aging can have a great positive impact on our society. We are training bright, new scientists who are highly motivated to work to increase this understanding.
The goal of this T32 program is to train new independent investigators who will utilize contemporary genetic and molecular genetic techniques to investigate the underlying mechanisms of aging. An increased understanding of the genetic mechanisms responsible for the processes that contribute to the burden of disease in aging can have a great positive impact on our society and we are training bright, new scientists who are highly motivated to work to increase this understanding.
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