This application is a revision of an application requesting 5 years of funding for an interdisciplinary training on the biology of aging for 3 pre-doctoral students and 4 post-doctoral fellows. The proposed program builds on the rapidly expanding expertise of 7 academic/research programs and three (3) institutions, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC), Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) and the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center. With the increased number of older individuals in the United States and the world, the proposed program has been created to address the unprecedented demand for researchers with expertise in the biology of aging that are trained to address the complex nature of research on aging and age-related diseases. OUHSC, OMRF and the VA have devoted extensive resources to the development of aging programs and in the past 7 years, and researchers from these programs have been awarded over $83M in research/infrastructure support and published over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts. This investment resulted in the recent successful submission of a Nathan Shock Center of Excellence that was funded in July 2015. The primary goal of this program is to prepare graduate students and post-doctoral fellows for careers as leaders in the emerging field of Geroscience. Our goal is to provide rigorous, outstanding, innovative training for future scientists that are entering specific disciplines in aging research. The program is composed of 15 faculty members from the OUHSC/OMRF/VA campus and captures the intense collaborations, enthusiasm and the unique resources of the aging community. The program is also supported by exceptional commitment from OUHSC and OMRF, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and numerous programs and cores that are continuously supported by each institution. Trainees selected for this program will be chosen competitively based on academic excellence and their interest and motivation for careers in aging research. The primary activity of the trainees will be to develop and complete research projects relevant to aging and/or age-related disease using state-of-the-art technologies in genomics, proteomics, epigenetics, cell biology, biochemistry and physiology. Because of the close collaborations among our faculty, trainees will be required to have a primary and secondary mentor to ensure the highest quality of training and focus on aging research. The trainees will also benefit from our Geroscience courses, clinical experiences, seminar programs, journal clubs and retreats that are taught/overseen by well-established leaders in the field of aging. Finally trainees will be mentored to develop appropriate presentation and grant writing skills and will be required to submit an independent F-series grant proposal. In summary, this training program is designed to help exceptional young scientists develop the intellectual, technical, writing and presentation skills needed for productive careers as independent investigators and educators in aging research. !
The vast majority of health care costs in our country are generated by individuals over the age of 65 suffering from age-related diseases. This population is rapidly expanding yet the etiology of age-related disease and treatment options remain limited. The most significant risk factor for disease is aging itself, but there are few investigators trained to address this interaction. This application is designed to train future generations of researchers in the emerging area of Geroscience: The study of the interaction of aging and age-related disease.
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