There is a real shortage of clinicians trained in geriatric principles, with even fewer clinicians with geriatric competencies also trained in patient-oriented research. My overarching goal is to grow the field of young investigators properly trained in patient-oriented aging research, and to improve the health of frail, older adults through my research efforts focused on unintentional injury. For more than ten years I have had funding from the NIA to study injurious falls in frail, older adults, and for the past six years I have served as the Program Director for the Harvard Multicampus Geriatric Medicine Fellowship. The current proposal will capitalize on my strengths as an independent clinical investigator with expertise in injurious falls and program leader to enhance my capacity to mentor early investigators in aging research.
The specific aims of the current proposal are to 1) conduct high-quality research on preventing unintentional injuries in frail, older adults that will serve as a platform to engage early investigators in patient-oriented aging research; 2) grow the number of well-trained investigators skilled in studying unintentional injury in older adults; and 3) enhance my skills to lead and mentor early clinical investigators by completing formal didactic training focused on implementation science and leadership. Ongoing funded research projects that could serve as a platform to engage research trainees include a large observational study to determine the risks and benefits of antihypertensive, antihyperglycemic, and anticoagulant drugs in older adults with Alzheimer?s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD), as well as a feasibility trial to develop and implement an intervention to prevent injurious falls in older nursing home residents. Additionally I have conducted research and continue to collaborate with investigators using several large datasets that will serve as an excellent resource for trainees. Potential mentees will be identified from a pipeline of existing training programs at Harvard Medical School including the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship, Translational Research in Aging Programs (T32), and others. I will develop an individualized mentoring plan with all trainees, including the design of an original hypothesis-driven research project, plan for individualized and group mentorship, and opportunities for coursework/didactics to enhance research training. Finally, I will boost my own mentoring skills through 1) formal didactics and directed reading on implementation science; 2) directed reading/coursework on mentorship; 3) a leadership course; 4) a course on preventing burnout; and 5) additional coursework (e.g., introduction to genetics) to expand my scientific inquiry. A Senior Advisory panel will provide feedback on my performance as a mentor and leader. In summary, this Career Development Award will provide me with the practical experience and formal didactic training to expand my capacity as a researcher, leader, and mentor in patient-oriented research on unintentional injury, including patients with ADRD. At the end of this 5-year award, I will have equipped at least 18 early investigators in the study of unintentional injury, many of whom will enter the field of aging research.
The goal of this Midcareer Investigator Award is to grow the field of young investigators properly trained in aging research, and to improve the health of frail, older adults through my research efforts focused on unintentional injury. This Award will provide me with the practical experience and formal didactic training to expand my capacity as a researcher, leader, and mentor in patient-oriented research on unintentional injury, including patients with Alzheimer?s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD).