With the "graying of America" we are faced with the need to address the ever increasing number of individuals in our society who have age-associated nervous system diseases and conditions. It is estimated that by the year 2050, there will be up to 16 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease and an even larger number with additional nervous system-related diseases that are attributed to the aging of our population. To address this problem, we need multidisciplinary approaches to facilitate the discovery of the mechanisms, treatments and prevention of these diseases. Active, integrated research-based training of pre-doctoral students is a key to re- supplying the research personnel needed to address these biomedical health care issues. Herein we propose to continue a successful predoctoral program that focuses on the neurobiology of aging. The present application is a competing renewal of a very successful program of pre- and post-doctoral training at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC). This funding cycle we had 22 full fellows, of whom 10 completed their training and their Ph.D. and an additional 17 associate fellows for a total of 39 trainees in less than 5 years. Our trainees published 91 peer-reviewed papers;we trained 7 (of 22 = 32%) minority students as full fellows;6 (of 17 = 35%), for a total of 33% minority participation in our training program. The proposed training program will enhance an already strong and successful training program in the neurobiology of aging. The continuation of our predoctoral training program is proposed, as our Institute for Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Research (IAADR), founded by the Training Program Director, has matured through the addition of faculty and the funding of three program project grants, and has initiated clinical research into the causes, treatment and prevention of brain aging and Alzheimer's Disease at the UNTHSC. Collectively, our new training initiatives create a stimulating environment for the training of predoctoral trainees in the neurobiology of aging. Unique features of the training program are (1) our Associate Fellows program, which increases the number of trainees participating fully in the training program;(2) our emphasis on diversity training, that resulted in a 33% minority participation in the training program;(3) our high institutional support which is proposed to amount in an institutional commitment to the training program of approximately $276,800 over the next 5 years;(4) our focus on the development of research excellence and leadership among our trainees;and (5) our Preceptor-in-Training Program, which trains our more junior preceptors in pre-doctoral training. Collectively, these attributes of our Neurobiology of Aging Training Program have produced an outstanding program of training that we wish to continue.
Training in the neurobiology of aging is proposed to address the ever increasing number of individuals in our society who have age-associated nervous system diseases and conditions. We propose to continue a successful predoctoral training program that focuses on diversity training, scientific excellence and leadership, and preparation of trainees for successful careers in the neurobiology of aging, through intensive research and research-related activities and publication of high quality research reports. A substantial institutional commitment to support this training program has been made to help ensure continued success of this program.
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