As the population ages in the United States, there is a need of integrated approaches for understanding the basic mechanisms of aging and the specific etiologies of the major age-related pathologies. This application is the fourth competing renewal for a training grant supporting an inter-departmental program in the cell and molecular biology of aging. The goal of this program is to train predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees in contemporary aging research- focusing heavily on basic biology. We request funds to support a total of 4 pre- and 4 postdoctoral positions. The training faculty includes 14 mentors. The nature of the training grant is interdepartmental and interdisciplinary, involving faculty from several departments including the Aging Track of the Interdepartmental Program in Cell and Molecular Biology, the Departments of Molecular &Cellular Biology, Molecular and Human Genetics, Neuroscience, Pathology, Medicine and other Departments at Baylor College of Medicine and the Departments of Cancer Medicine and Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Both institutions are across the street from each other. Accordingly, graduate students and postdoctoral trainees will have training opportunities in a variety of research projects highly relevant to aging. It will also offer opportunities for faculty and trainees'interactions that will encourage creative research in aging and age-related diseases. The current training program has been invigorated in several areas including recruiting new, outstanding faculty for the Program, and offering an updated Biology of Aging and Age-Related Diseases course focused on multiple model systems including mice, worms and flies. This course has already attracted a large number of graduate students. In addition, trainees attend the weekly Biology of Aging Seminar Series, the monthly Aging Journal Club (presented by trainees) and the annual Frontiers in Aging Research Seminar Series that brings outstanding gerontologists and aging specialists to BCM for a two-day retreat. The training faculty has a strong mentoring record, and is highly productive and interactive;they have co-authored a large number of age-related manuscripts and are PIs and Co-Pls in multiple grants. An additional notable achievement is that trainees from our Program have graduated with extremely strong publication records in high impact journals.
A strong training program in the basic biology of aging will provide students and postdoctoral trainees with essential tools for becoming successful gerontologists in contemporary areas of aging research including metabolism, neuroscience, genetics and epigenetics.
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