This is an application to renew our T32 Stanford Training Program in Aging Research (TPAR), a training program to support six postdoctoral fellow slots to pursue research in aging and to become future leaders in the field. This program, initiated in 2014, was built upon the remarkable growth of exciting aging research at Stanford. The establishment of TPAR has not only supported current trainees, but has also served as focal point for the recruitment of the best and brightest students and fellows with an interest in aging research, thereby increasing the percentage of Stanford trainees working in the aging field. Along with the Co-Directors, TPAR consists of an exceptional group of 23 preceptors from 13 different departments and programs who serve as the core affiliated faculty and whose areas of expertise span a range of central topics within the biology of aging. We have outlined five Tracks (stem cells, genetics, neuroscience, cancer, and immunology) that focus on aging in these specific contexts and that trainees select.
TPAR aims to provide a solid foundation of training in aging across sub-disciplines by formal didactics, a Frontiers in Aging seminar series, a biennial Symposium on Aging, a weekly Trainee Research Talk program, and a designated mentoring program. Innovative aspects of the Program include an exposure to clinical geriatrics, formalized postdoctoral mentoring, integration into the Bay Area Aging Meeting (BAAM), and inclusion of a grant-writing course in the curriculum. Each trainee appointment will be for a maximum of two years, but for extraordinary cases may be extended to three years. Receiving broad institutional support, TPAR was immediately integrated into the established infrastructure of trainee education at Stanford University. TPAR has benefitted and will continue to benefit immensely from the continuing efforts and success of Stanford University programs to recruit and retain applicants from diverse background. The population of the country is aging, with a much higher percentage of individuals over 70 years of age than ever before and with an increasing percentage affected by devastating diseases of aging such as heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. The emphasis of TPAR will be to provide broad, interdisciplinary training, to coordinate aging research and training activities across the entire campus, and to help disseminate basic and translational aging research by preparing trainees for the next steps in their careers. In doing so, we expect that TPAR will serve not only the individual trainees but also the field of aging research in general and society at large.
The field of aging research is rapidly expanding and is likely to continue to produce results that will have enormous impacts on individuals and society. The Stanford Training Program in Aging Research (TPAR) is designed not only to train postdoctoral fellows to have highly successful careers in aging research, but also to form the next generation of leaders in this field in academia, medicine, industry, and related professions.
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