The Sealy Center on Aging at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) is a leading center for research on minority health and aging. UTMB has hosted an NIA-supported pre-doctoral and postdoctoral training program in minority health and aging since 1999. In the current funding cycle, we request funding for three predoctoral and two postdoctoral positions. We are proposing several important changes in the focus and activities of the minority aging training program for the next funding cycle. Going forward, the T32 training program will focus on two identified core areas of strengths in minority aging research at UTMB: Hispanic and Latin American health and aging, and disparities in health outcomes in older adults. These are areas in which the University has committed substantial resources toward creating new faculty positions and has demonstrated significant success in obtaining peer-reviewed (R01) support. In concert with the recent strategic planning process for the graduate program in Population Health Sciences (where most pre-doctoral trainees are enrolled), we are adopting a revised curriculum for pre-doctoral student education and training. The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Provost's Office have made significant commitments in the past year to enhancing the excellence of graduate education and postdoctoral training and research at UTMB. These commitments include the President's Scholars Program to recruit outstanding graduate students and the establishment of an Office of Postdoctoral Affairs that includes organized training and opportunities in career development and mentoring. We have developed a formal structure and related activities to enhance recruitment and facilitate the placement of our trainees regionally and nationally. We believe that these changes will position trainees for leadership positions among the next generation of aging researchers.

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. We aim to recruit promising new investigators 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)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1)
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Patmios, Georgeanne E
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University of Texas Medical Br Galveston
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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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

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