The overarching mission of the RCDC is to develop future leaders in geriatrics research, focused in the area of UCLA's theme, Translational Research to Maintain Independence. The RCDC will emphasize """"""""cross training"""""""" of its junior scientists, ensuring that they can integrate clinical and basic research knowledge to maintain the health and independence of the aging population. The goals of the RCDC are to 1) Identify talented junior faculty with an interest in aging research who are optimal candidates for UCLA OAIC 3- year career development awards (CDAs);2) foster the research training and careers of junior scientists with Board Certification in Geriatrics;3) attract junior faculty from other disciplines into aging research;4) provide a supportive environment for UCLA OAIC CDA awardees that maximizes the likelihood of successful training, research progress and ultimate career success;5) emphasize CDA training that will integrate basic and clinical science in addressing research questions;and 6) serve as a resource in aging-related research mentorship for UCLA junior faculty. In meeting these goals, the UCLA RCDC will also conduct outreach to minority CDA candidates and will be attuned to the importance of health disparities research and minority populations'representation in research. The 4 candidate CDAs for Year 1 are conducting research related to UCLA's theme and will develop combined competence in basic and clinical research. David Walker, PhD is a geneticist who is using the genetics of Drosophila to better understand the role of mitochondrial electron transport chain function in modulating the aging process. Michael Yeh, MD is an endocrine surgeon who is using large datasets to examine the rates of parathyroidectomy with increasing age and the impact of both untreated and surgically treated hyperparathyroidism on health-related outcomes among a racially diverse sample of older adults. Jordan Lake, MD is an infectious disease specialist who Is examining mechanisms by which chronic inflammation accelerates aging processes in HIV-infected persons. David Merrill, MD, PhD is a geriatric psychiatrist and neuroscientist who is examining the mechanisms underlying the effects of physical fitness on cognition among older adults, including the role of inflammatory markers.

Public Health Relevance

In an increasingly competitive research environment, it essential to identify and nurture the careers of junior faculty who wish to enter careers in aging research. Therefore, one of the central goals of the OAIC program is to foster the development of such researchers. The UCLA OAIC RCDC will meet this mission by developing the research careers of junior investigators who wish to pursue aging research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-8)
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University of California Los Angeles
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