Funds are requested to continue a series of Summer Training Courses in Experimental Aging Research (STC) that will be held for five days each June from 2019 through 2023. The STC will be directed by Dr. Van Remmen at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC). The course site will rotate among three host institutions: OMRF/OUHSC at Oklahoma City, OK, the University of Washington at Seattle, WA and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging at Novato, CA. Similar STCs have been held with great success every summer since 1993. The Course is designed to provide trainees with intensive exposure to the latest research in experimental biogerontology and individualized guidance regarding the development of a research proposal. Each year?s enrollment will be limited to 25 Trainees with most of the Trainees in the formative stage of their careers, i.e., junior faculty in their first four years or postdoctoral fellows in the last year of their fellowship. Each trainee is expected to have at least two years of productive laboratory experience in some aspect of biology beyond the doctoral degree (MD, PhD, or DVM). The five-day program will include the following four activities: (a) overview lectures designed to introduce trainees to the context, latest findings, and unanswered questions in major areas of biogerontology, (b) an opportunity for each trainee to present his or her Specific Aims for a research project that will be critiqued by the Training Faculty, (c) seminars focusing on the NIH system and funding opportunities at the NIA presented by NIA staff and seminars focusing on novel methodological approaches that could be important in studying aging by a faculty member at the host or nearby institution, and (d) after- dinner discussions dealing with what reviewers look for when reviewing grants, how to handle and prevent scientific misconduct in the laboratory, and how to find and interview for a position. Nine scientists will serve as the Steering Committee of the STC and will be responsible for selecting the trainees and making changes in the organization or content of the STC: Drs. Van Remmen, the Director/PI, Richardson, the Co-Director, and Dr. Sonntag who will host the Course at Oklahoma City (OK), Drs. Campisi (Co-PI), Lithgow, and Kapahi who will host the Course at Novato (CA), and Drs. Rabinovitch (Co-PI), Promislow, and Kaeberlein who will host the Course at Seattle (WA). In addition, eight Training Faculty who are leaders in the field of aging and have served on Study Sections related to aging will participate in each STC: 3 faculty from the host institution and 5 faculty from other institutions. Trainees are asked to review each STC and these reviews are considered by the Steering Committee when planning the next STC. The overall rating of the STCs over the past five years by the Trainees has been outstanding. 89% of the former trainees who responded to our poll are still involved in aging research and 59% of the Trainees have been successful in obtaining funding for their research on aging (52% from NIH and 25% from non-federal sources).
SUMMER TRAINING COURSE RELEVANCE Aging is the largest single risk factor for a host of diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, type II diabetes and neurodegeneration. As the U.S. population ages, there is a need to train a cadre of researchers who are equipped to apply the progress being made in biomedical research to problems relevant to the biology of aging and age-related disease. The Summer Training Course in Experimental Aging Research is designed to fill this need. Each year, the Course will provide 20 researchers at formative stages of their careers, or senior researchers wishing to enter an area of aging research, with intense exposure to major questions in the field and individualized critiques and advice on their research plans.