This Geroscience training program in the Biology of Aging is an unique cooperative venture of the University of Southern California's Leonard Davis School of Gerontology (USC) and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging (Buck). In 2012, in a truly joint venture, we created the very first dedicated Biology of Aging Ph.D. program in the USA. Students take courses at both institutions (some in a fully interactive, on-line format) and undertake first-year lab rotations at both campuses before selecting a mentor and lab at USC or the Buck. Faculty at the USC Davis School have been training Ph.D. students in the Biology of Aging since 1964, but such students were previously admitted via faculty joint appointments in other schools/departments at USC: over 50 doctoral students have been trained in this way. Similarly, most Buck faculty had prior university appointments where they established extensive Ph.D. training records, and many have continued to train Ph.D.'s from other universities after joining the Buck. This application requests support for four (4) pre-doctoral geroscience students in the USC-Buck Biology of Aging Ph.D. program. We also request support for two (2) post-doctoral geroscience scholars in the biology of aging, specifically at the USC Davis School of Gerontology. This request complements, but does not duplicate, existing funding at either institution. The bi- institutional nature of our USC-Buck Ph.. Program in the Biology of Aging is unique, and allows us to broadly foster a pipeline of investigators engaged in basic and translational research in aging biology throughout California. This collaborative effort has been in existence in various ways for several years (before formal approval in 2012) and has proven to be an important force in advancing the aging research agenda both at USC and at the Buck. Students have access to more than 100 scientists performing aging research, more than 40 focused on the cellular and molecular biology of aging. Students regularly rotate from USC to the Northern California Buck campus and are key to creating a unified research culture and collaborations. Joint classes and seminars are held at both campuses and broadcast using Adobe-Connect, allowing for active participation of all members at each campus, including active Q&A sessions during and after such lectures. Thus, this T32 Geroscience application, while involving two institutions, is in fact a wholly integrated unified program in which the Buck Institute scientists already hold USC faculty appointments and share scientific, educational, and cultural goals. A special feature of our program, that is no provided to students in traditional biochemistry/molecular biology programs, is exposure to the full range of Gerontological specialties: including social, psychological, demographic, economic, and public policy. This occurs through interactions with students and mentors in our highly successful Gerontology Ph.D. program which has long been supported by an NIA training grant, joint seminars, colloquia, and interdisciplinary research projects. Thus, our Biology of Aging Ph.D. students are provided with a truly comprehensive background in aging sciences, and learn to value the relationships between each of these sub-disciplines.

Public Health Relevance

The world's aging societies require solutions for debilitating and costly chronic diseases that rob people of the joy of their 'golden years,' and threaten to overwhelm both the capacity of the medical establishment and the treasuries of national governments. Ultimately, the solutions to these problems will lie in preventative measures or actual cures for diseases such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes, late onset cancers, rheumatoid and arthritic diseases, stroke, and respiratory diseases. This Geroscience program in the Biology of Aging prepares researchers to discover the mechanistic complexities and causes of aging and of age-related diseases, and to design rational preventative measures or cures for clinical testing.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1)
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Velazquez, Jose M
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University of Southern California
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Los Angeles
United States
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Davies, Kelvin J A (2018) Cardiovascular Adaptive Homeostasis in Exercise. Front Physiol 9:369
Pomatto, Laura C D; Sun, Patrick Y; Davies, Kelvin J A (2018) To adapt or not to adapt: Consequences of declining Adaptive Homeostasis and Proteostasis with age. Mech Ageing Dev :
Pomatto, Laura C D; Wong, Sarah; Tower, John et al. (2018) Sex-specific adaptive homeostasis in D. melanogaster depends on increased proteolysis by the 20S Proteasome: Data-in-Brief. Data Brief 17:653-661
Woodward, N C; Haghani, A; Johnson, R G et al. (2018) Prenatal and early life exposure to air pollution induced hippocampal vascular leakage and impaired neurogenesis in association with behavioral deficits. Transl Psychiatry 8:261
Fedoce, Alessandra das Gra├žas; Ferreira, Frederico; Bota, Robert G et al. (2018) The role of oxidative stress in anxiety disorder: cause or consequence? Free Radic Res 52:737-750
Pomatto, Laura C D; Cline, Mayme; Woodward, Nicholas et al. (2018) Aging attenuates redox adaptive homeostasis and proteostasis in female mice exposed to traffic-derived nanoparticles ('vehicular smog'). Free Radic Biol Med 121:86-97
Zhou, Lulu; Zhang, Hongqiao; Davies, Kelvin J A et al. (2018) Aging-related decline in the induction of Nrf2-regulated antioxidant genes in human bronchial epithelial cells. Redox Biol 14:35-40
Cadet, Jean; Davies, Kelvin J A (2017) Oxidative DNA damage & repair: An introduction. Free Radic Biol Med 106:100-110
Pomatto, Laura C D; Wong, Sarah; Carney, Caroline et al. (2017) The age- and sex-specific decline of the 20s proteasome and the Nrf2/CncC signal transduction pathway in adaption and resistance to oxidative stress in Drosophila melanogaster. Aging (Albany NY) 9:1153-1185
Cadet, Jean; Davies, Kelvin J A; Medeiros, Marisa Hg et al. (2017) Formation and repair of oxidatively generated damage in cellular DNA. Free Radic Biol Med 107:13-34

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