The aging of our population is transforming our society in ways that we have never experienced before. It is critical that the nation has the ability not only to provide high quality medical and supportive care to older Americans, but also to develop the new scientific knowledge that will ensure that we live healthier longer, while optimizing our independence and productivity. The United States, however, continues to suffer a critical shortage of well-trained clinician investigators who can address the needs of a growing aging population. A key goal of the Beeson program therefore is to expand the pool and foster the careers of exceptionally talented clinician investigators who possess the skills and fortitude necessary for academic leadership in aging research and geriatrics. The Beeson Annual Meetings (BAM) play an important role in nurturing the career development and leadership of the Beeson Scholars. Funding of this U13 application will allow us to leverage the remaining private grant funds from The John A. Hartford Foundation to continue the BAMs through at least 2021. The proposed series of 5 annual meetings support the mission of the NIA by fostering the career development and research of clinician investigators in aging, and by exchanging and disseminating information about aging/geriatrics and advances in aging research to the scientific community. This U13 conference grant will provide a forum for current and former Beeson Scholars to: 1. foster collaborations among scholars; 2. nurture and develop a collective identity; 3. support career development and promote leadership skills that help scholars become independent investigators and leaders in aging research and geriatrics; 4. exchange research information and network more effectively among multidisciplinary groups; 5. provide access to colleagues who are working on similar scientific issues related to aging, though often in different disciplines; 6. receive ongoing complementary mentorship from nationally recognized academic leaders who can guide the Scholars? research and career development and; 7. provide access to organizations, programs, and colleagues helpful to the Scholars? growth and development. This U13 application will use a multi- and inter-disciplinary approach, to address critical issues for older adults, increase awareness of the unique challenges in aging research across the NIH institutes (ICs) beyond the NIA, encourage collaborative research, and foster leadership development. The meetings will create opportunities for the scholars to network with their peers, alumni, and senior scientists.
It is critical that the nation has the ability not only to provide high quality medical and supportive care to older Americans, but also to develop the new scientific knowledge that will ensure that we live healthier longer, while optimizing our independence and productivity. Within the field of aging research, the small numbers of individuals skilled in geriatrics and other age-related clinical disciplines are inadequate to address the burgeoning needs of the rapidly growing older population. The goal of the proposed series of annual meetings is to cultivate the career development and leadership of exceptionally talented clinician investigators who possess the skills and fortitude necessary for academic leadership in aging research and geriatrics.