The University of Texas Medical Students Training in Aging Research Program (UT-MSTAR) application seeks to continue, expand and evaluate an aging research program for medical students, featuring partnerships between the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health Science Center) and the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). Both the UT Health Science Center and UTMB provide exceptional environments and mentors to train medical students about the biology of aging and the conduct of gerontological research. The objectives of this proposal are to 1) Expose medical students, early in their training, to ongoing aging research and successful mentors;2) Encourage medical students to consider pursuing a basic science/clinical research career in aging and;3) Increase the numbers of physician scientists engaged in aging research and academic activities, particularly those with minority backgrounds, given our location and aging programs'focus. Aging researchers and faculty at UT Health Science Center have an 18-year history of successful programs in aging research for medical students. Responding to RFA-AG-05-002 from the NIA (2005), and given the establishment of the Barshop Institute for Aging and Longevity Studies with its outstanding Biology of Aging research program;The UT Health Science Center partnered with the University of Pittsburg and UTMB to successfully pursue a T35 application. Since 2005, the Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) program has sponsored 23 medical students at UT Health Science Center and 17 at UTMB. All MSTAR students completed mentored research projects;presented their abstracts locally and nationally and many of them achieved awards, publications and recognitions while still in medical school. In addition, MSTAR Students highly appraised their experience, also improving their attitudes towards aging research, geriatrics and pursuing an academic career. Responding to the NIA T35 RFA-AG-10-007 (2009), the UT Health Science Center is well positioned to lead its own MSTAR Program in Aging Research for Medical Students, partnering with UTMB to continue this thriving experience. The UT-MSTAR Program will further enhance regional collaborations and students'exposure to outstanding aging researchers while positively influencing them to pursue an academic career.
The University of Texas Medical Students Training in Aging Research Program (UT-MSTAR) is an experienced training program that seeks to educate medical students in pursuing research related to improving elders'care and to positively influence them to follow a career focused on serving older adults' health needs.
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