This is a new proposal for the Alzheimer's Disease Clinical and Translational Research (ADCTR) Training Program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). Our objectives are aimed at increased interaction among students from the three schools (Architecture, Engineering and Science) and four PhD granting departments (Biomedical Engineering, Biological Sciences, Chemical Engineering and Chemistry) as well as four Institute-wide centers (Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS), Lighting Research Center (LRC), Institute of Data Exploration and Application (IDEA) and Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship) as well as the Department of Computer Science and the Lally School of Management at RPI. The Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer's Disease at Icahn School of Medicine at ISMMS and industry partners will provide short term training/research projects in AD and AD-related dementias. This Training Program will provide trainees with a keen understanding of the interdisciplinary, clinical and translational nature of research on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, how it depends on fundamental underpinnings of both science and engineering, how it leads to innovative new scientific disciplines and technologies, how it can be applied to clinical settings, and how commercial products are developed. Faculty from these programs are actively involved in research programs spanning the following: 1) pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions for Alzheimer's disease and neurodegenerative disease; 2) biomarkers and imaging; and 3) structural biology of protein folding/tau. Key aspects of the training program will include: [1] a set of four courses that will maximize didactic training among the key disciplines; [2] a core course entitled ?Perspectives in Alzheimer's Disease Research? that will be taken by all trainees; [3] a seminar series and research symposia that will build on campus-wide programs at RPI and its clinical and industry partners; [4] a student-run seminar program, in which trainees present their research to their peers and training faculty; [5] training in responsible conduct of research; [6] joint supervision (at least 2 mentors spanning disciplines per trainee) and a multidisciplinary thesis committee membership for Ph.D. thesis work in architecture, science and engineering; [7] industrial and/or clinical externships; [8] poster presentation and participation in the annual meeting of the CBIS and LRC Industry Partners Program; [9] entrepreneurship and commercial translation training; and [10] an annual retreat in contemporary research in Alzheimer's Disease and related dementias at which trainees and others on campus interact with outside researchers in the field. An Executive Committee will ensure that trainees satisfy Program requirements and an Underrepresented Minority Recruitment (URM) Committee will actively engage in, identify and recruit a diverse student population into the program. In addition to the six trainee slots per year proposed herein, Rensselaer will support two Institute trainees per year.

Public Health Relevance

Full exploration of the linkages between biology, biomedical engineering, biophysics, and architecture as well as translation of scientific evidence into clinical practice requires the bridging of disciplines in specific target areas that are central to multidisciplinary science. The Alzheimer?s Disease Clinical and Translational Research (ADCTR) Training Program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Rensselaer or RPI) will be dedicated to providing an integrated and multidisciplinary platform to train predoctoral students at the interface of architecture, biology, biophysics, and biomedical engineering focusing on the quantitative linkages that define this interface and preparing trainees for careers in applied sciences and clinical research. Our partners at the Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai (ISMMS or Mount Sinai) will be the clinical arm, providing students with field and clinical training.

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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Petanceska, Suzana
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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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United States
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Figueiro, M G; Nagare, R; Price, Lla (2018) Non-visual effects of light: how to use light to promote circadian entrainment and elicit alertness. Light Res Technol 50:38-62