This application requests five years of funding for the UTMB training program in Health of Older Minorities. This program was originally funded in 1999 and now supports three pre-doctoral and three postdoctoral positions. In this application we are requesting continued funding for three pre-doctoral and three postdoctoral trainees. In the past nine years (1999-2008), we have funded a total of 13 pre-doctoral fellows and 15 postdoctoral fellows. Two trainees were both pre-doctoral and postdoctoral fellows. Trainees from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups (African-American and Hispanic) represented 23% of our pre-doctoral fellows and 33% of our postdoctoral fellows. Overall, 27% of the 26 individual fellows funded on the training grant are African-American or Hispanic. Pre-doctoral fellows will be enrolled in the Preventive Medicine and Community Health (PMCH) Graduate Program, in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Within PMCH, students choose from curricula including: Sociomedical Sciences, Rehabilitation Sciences, and Health Services Research. We will recruit both PhD and MD postdoctoral fellows. Postdoctoral fellows with PhDs will usually take minimal course work (no more than one course per semester) and concentrate on obtaining research experience in minority aging. Postdoctoral fellows with an MD will usually enroll in a master's or doctoral degree program in Preventive Medicine and Community Health. All trainees will also participate in ongoing seminars, professional conferences, and research programs with a focus on minority and underserved populations. As a result of their training, fellows will: develop skills in specific curricula content and methods (pre-doctoral training);integrate social science and/or medical backgrounds with psychosocial and epidemiological content and methods relevant to the study of older minorities;and participate in ongoing minority aging and health research with faculty nationally recognized in minority aging research. Our team mentor approach pairs each trainee with a senior faculty mentor, a biostatistical mentor, and other mentors as appropriate to train each effectively in health services research. Program mentees have gone on to successful careers as researchers and faculty.

Public Health Relevance

Minority older adults have historically greater barriers to health care access, have unique needs, and are on track for future demographic growth. With few trained Mexican American and other minority investigators in the US, we aim to recruit promising new investigators from minority undergraduate institutions and attract minority MDs to research careers in minority aging. UTMB has the largest enrollment of Mexican American medical students in the continental US as well as internationally recognized scholars of Hispanic aging.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-7 (J4))
Program Officer
Stahl, Sidney M
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Texas Medical Br Galveston
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Veeranki, Sreenivas P; Downer, Brian; Jupiter, Daniel et al. (2017) Arthritis and Risk of Cognitive and Functional Impairment in Older Mexican Adults. J Aging Health 29:454-473
Garcia, Marc A; Valderrama-Hinds, Luis M; Chiu, Chi-Tsun et al. (2017) Age of Migration Life Expectancy with Functional Limitations and Morbidity in Mexican Americans. J Am Geriatr Soc 65:1591-1596
Saenz, Joseph L; Downer, Brian; Garcia, Marc A et al. (2017) Cognition and Context: Rural-Urban Differences in Cognitive Aging Among Older Mexican Adults. J Aging Health :898264317703560
Downer, Brian; Garcia, Marc A; Saenz, Joseph et al. (2017) The Role of Education in the Relationship Between Age of Migration to the United States and Risk of Cognitive Impairment Among Older Mexican Americans. Res Aging :164027517701447
Díaz-Venegas, Carlos; Sáenz, Joseph L; Wong, Rebeca (2017) Family size and old-age wellbeing: effects of the fertility transition in Mexico. Ageing Soc 37:495-516
Monserud, Maria A; Markides, Kyriakos S (2017) Changes in depressive symptoms during widowhood among older Mexican Americans: the role of financial strain, social support, and church attendance. Aging Ment Health 21:586-594
Díaz-Venegas, Carlos; Downer, Brian; Langa, Kenneth M et al. (2016) Racial and ethnic differences in cognitive function among older adults in the USA. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 31:1004-12
Downer, Brian; Kumar, Amit; Mehta, Hemalkumar et al. (2016) The Effect of Undiagnosed Diabetes on the Association Between Self-Reported Diabetes and Cognitive Impairment Among Older Mexican Adults. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen 31:564-569
Downer, Brian; Chen, Nai-Wei; Wong, Rebeca et al. (2016) Self-Reported Health and Functional Characteristics of Mexican and Mexican American Adults Aged 80 and Over. J Aging Health 28:1239-55
Downer, Brian; Veeranki, Sreenivas P; Wong, Rebeca (2016) A Late Life Risk Index for Severe Cognitive Impairment in Mexico. J Alzheimers Dis 52:191-203

Showing the most recent 10 out of 70 publications