At present 5.3 million US citizens are affected by Alzheimer's disease and countless others are impacted by age-related cognitive decline. The cost of care in the US is currently more than $220 billion annually, and with the increase in cases will grow to an unsupportable $1.2 trillion annually by 2050. The loss of cognitive function will impact the quality of life, the available elderly workforce in the nation and our economic viability. We urgently need to discover new prevention and treatment strategies. Biomedical research and the training of a new generation of scientists devoted to studying the mechanisms associated with aging and age-related disorders hold the greatest promise for identifying strategies that allow individuals to age successfully. Our training program focuses on preparation and instruction in the application of molecular and quantitative approaches to the elucidation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of age-related neurodegeneration, brain plasticity, and learning and memory. We emphasize training on mechanisms but also the discovery and translation of effective therapeutics including lifestyles such as physical activity. Overall, our training program has five primary features and strengths: 1. A team of innovative and scholarly preceptors who have a strong record of accomplishment for training young scholars and an excellent collaborative environment fostering team science 2. A core set of courses on Brain Aging along with seminars and symposia (eg. ReMIND), training on brain pathology through Clinical-pathological case presentations and a mini-clinical internship 3. A unique environment that allows for students from many departments and programs across the campus to have a customized program of study, an opportunity that a single department based program cannot provide 4. Specific training to help trainees reach their individual career goals that will include Training in Communication skills such as our recent training for students on delivering ?elevator pitches? and brief lay descriptions of research 5. An Individual Development Plan (IDP) to prepare them for their own independent careers in the neurobiology of aging, and continual monitoring to ensure they develop broad understanding of the bench to clinic translation of research to improve the lives of the elderly and ensure sustainably healthcare for the nation. Overall, our Training program in Brain Aging is designed to develop a uniquely trained cadre of investigators who over the years will develop successful careers.
This renewal application seeks continued support for the training of Pre-doctoral and Post-doctoral students in the Neurobiology of Aging. Our program includes laboratory based research, formal courses and seminars, and a mini-clinic residency so that fellows literally gain training from ?bench to bedside?. We aspire to continue to train the next generation of research scientists with an enhanced emphasis on translation of basic research findings to clinical applications in order to delay and treat age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.
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