In 2030, roughly a fifth of the total population in the US will be over age 65.The rising number of seniors with Alzheimer?s disease and related dementias (ADRDs) and multiple comorbidities requires new evidence-based clinical care strategies. With their ability to combine their medical knowledge with the tools of epidemiology, basic science, and social science, physician-scientists play a critical role in identifying questions at the bedside and developing novel approaches to prevent, diagnose, treat, and manage ADRD. Despite the unique skills and perspectives of physician-scientists, the pipeline of such trainees has been in decline. This represents a major gap in the development of physician-scientists prepared to contribute to ADRD research. The mission of the Duke University Creating ADRD Researchers for the Next Generation-Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (CARiNG-StARR) Program is to train physician-scientists in biomedical research to cultivate investigators who will lead the development, implementation, and evaluation of new translational and clinical modalities to address ADRD. CARiNG-StARR will train resident-investigators across three clinical disciplines: Family Medicine, Psychiatry, and Neurology focusing on three areas: 1) novel links and prevention strategies 2) comorbidities and care models, and 3) ADRD-related health disparities. The program will consist of four training components: 1) comprehensive didactics covering basic, translational, and clinical research and professional development with emphasis placed on research in ADRD; 2) development and completion of an ADRD research project and an individualized career development plan; 3) a record of accomplishment of scholarly activity in the field of ADRD; and 4) eligibility for board certification in Family Medicine, Psychiatry, or Neurology, and continuation of clinical and research training in a sub-specialty or fellowship. CARiNG-StARR will be led by an Executive Committee (EC) of MPIs Anthony Viera, MD, MPH (Family Medicine) and Heather Whitson, MD, MHS (Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development), and a CARiNG-StARR Associate Program Director from the Office of Physician-Scientist Development, along with an Expanded EC of Residency Program Directors and a Program Coordinator, capitalizing on a robust array of resources and a team of 42 multi-disciplinary, well-funded, and experienced faculty preceptors/mentors working in ADRD and relevant fields. This application requests support for three resident-Investigators each year with each trainee supported for 12-months of research during the duration of their residency. Upon completion, these individuals will be prepared for further training in a research-intense fellowship, competing for extramural funding, and becoming the next generation of physician-scientists leading and mentoring trainees in clinically- oriented research focusing on ADRD. Achievement of the program's objectives will fulfill urgent needs for: 1) more full-time academic physician-scientists and mentors in medical schools throughout the country and 2) innovations and clinical translation of novel strategies to improve the health and care of people with ADRD.
There is a paramount need for clinician scientists who are skilled in modern scientific methods and have the background to develop novel approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat Alzheimer?s disease and related dementias (ADRDs). The Creating ADRD Researchers for the Next Generation - Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (CARiNG-StARR) program will provide protected research time for residents- investigators in the departments of Family Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Neurology to foster their maturation into independent physician-scientists who use cutting-edge research methods to pursue long-term academic careers investigating important issues related to ADRD.