The goal of the Academic Career Leadership Award is to solidify and enhance research and research training in the immunological aspects of aging at Loyola University Medical Center. The award will provide support for the research initiatives of the Immunology and Aging Program, based in the Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy. The Immunology and Aging Program was initiated by the candidate and is comprised of several participating immunologists from multiple departments of Loyola Medical Center. The participating faculty members have developed a high level of interest in and active investigation into how the processes of aging and senescence affect immune function-including the initial development, production and senescence of lymphocytes; the regulation of immune responses by cytokines, antibodies, cell surface costimulatory molecules, and hormonal substances; and the recovery from burn trauma or wound. The hypothesis of our collective research is that aging leads to changes in the composition and regulation of the lymphocytes in immune tissues. We believe that investigation of immune aging and cell senescence are important frontiers for continued understanding of the basic principles of immune function in protection and disease. The Academic Career Leadership Award will be used by the candidate to enhance and promote interest in immunological aging research at Loyola Medical Center in order that this focus may excel in quality and funding support. The program is organized into three Specific Aims, which will meet this goal within the five year funding period.
The first aim i s to solidify and extend current preliminary studies by the group of investigators affiliated with the Immunology and Aging Program, allowing them to obtain successful RO1 grant funding. The program will promote collaborations among the investigators that will yield a program project application in the immunology of aging.
The second aim of the program will foster new research endeavors into the immunology of aging, particularly interdisciplinary collaborations and collaborations between basic and clinical scientists at Loyola University Medical Center.
The third aim will enhance research training opportunities in aging for graduate, medical, undergraduate, and minority high school students. In particular, the focus in graduate training will be toward building a graduate training tract in the immunological aspects of aging. This will be achieved by curriculum development and activities to enhance recruitment of student trainees. Loyola University Medical Center is an excellent institute for support of leadership activities in the aging and immunology. The institute has a strong, interactive immunology research community and strong interest in and commitment to expansion of research in aging.
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