This is an application for a new Institutional T32 National Research Service Award at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) designed to train predoctoral and postdoctoral public health scientists devoted to improving the health of aging women and men and understanding sex differences. The program focuses on preparing researchers to conduct translational studies of factors affecting aging through the life course from middle-age to end of life. Emphasis is placed on special concerns of aging women due to the unique challenges they face across the life course. The program will be directed by Andrea Z. LaCroix, PhD, Professor and Chief of Epidemiology, who is an internationally known senior ?aging epidemiologist? with 10 years of experience directing a prior NIA-funded T32 program. Her leadership partners are Co-Directors Linda McEvoy, PhD, an established neuroscientist who studies risk factors for cognitive aging and brain imaging and Alison Moore, MD, Chief of Geriatrics who has 20 years of NIH funding and has mentored more than 50 trainees. The program is organized around 6 major research areas: 1) the study of sex and gender differences; 2) early life predictors of later life outcomes (an area that transcends all focus areas); 3) menopause and midlife; 4) healthy aging in mind and body; 5) chronic disease, multiple morbidity and survivorship; and 6) health disparities and vulnerable populations. Predoctoral trainees will be recruited from two highly selective PhD programs in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health (FMPH): 1) The UCSD/San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in Public Health with tracks in Epidemiology, Global Health and Health Behavior; and 2) the PhD Program in Biostatistics. Postdoctoral scholars will be recruited from doctoral programs nationwide in public health, preventive medicine, neurosciences, psychology, nutrition, physical therapy, exercise science, demography, pharmacy, and other disciplines. The immediate goals of the T32 program are to ensure that each trainee: 1) establishes a research program and significant body of published research in aging women?s or men?s health and/or sex differences that is novel, significant and transformational as a foundation for future grant applications; 2) develops their oral presentation skills; 3) acquires detailed knowledge and strategies for success in setting and meeting career development milestones; 4) develops and submits a grant application appropriate to their level of training; 5) completes training and applies knowledge in the responsible conduct of research; and 6) becomes a valued and contributing member of the aging research community at UCSD and nationally. The Program Directors will host a weekly T32 Workshop that includes structured training in: mentorship; conducting aging research from conception of a novel and significant research question, to incorporating rigorous methods for evaluating health disparities, to publishing and dissemination; grant writing; and career development. Our long term goal is to build the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists across the US who will produce evidence that will have major impacts on the health of aging women and men.
The world?s population is aging rapidly with an expected 84 million American ages 65 and older by 2050. The purpose of this T32 program is to prepare doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows from a variety of disciplines in the health sciences to produce the evidence that will guide optimum, efficient, and cost-effective health care and public health practices for diverse populations of aging women and men across the life course. The program is organized around 6 major research areas: 1) the study of sex and gender differences; 2) early life predictors of later life outcomes; 3) menopause and midlife; 4) healthy aging in mind and body; 5) chronic disease, multiple morbidity and survivorship; and 6) health disparities and vulnerable populations.