Alzheimer's disease is a devastating and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder that severely compromises normal cognition and behavior. Costs associated with caring for individuals suffering from AD now exceed 250 billion dollars annually and are expected to rise exponentially in the foreseeable future. Despite this staggering statistic, there exist few treatments and no cures for AD and related dementias. Significant advances in the treatment of AD will require scientists to cross traditional boundaries between disciplines. Indeed, there is increasing recognition that AD is pathologically, genetically, and/or clinically linked to a number of other dementing diseases. Moreover, it is clear that a fuller understanding of how primary risk factors and co- morbidities in AD influence disease progression could reveal novel targets for improving patient outcomes. The overarching goal of this proposal is to build upon outstanding infrastructure for neuroscience training and the vast expertise in AD research at the University of Florida to create a pre-doctoral training program that will foster the development of the next generation of AD researchers and equip them with the broad perspective and scientific skills necessary to make true advances in the treatment of this devastating and complex disease. Trainees for this program will be selected from a pool of outstanding students from diverse backgrounds who are admitted into one of two graduate programs?a biomedical science program and a clinical health psychology program. Trainees would benefit from (1) intensive mentorship in research concepts and methodology, scientific analysis and interpretation (2) opportunities to train and interact with world-class faculty who are leading authorities in the field of AD, aging and co-morbidities of this disease (3) diverse dissertation committees that include multiple mentors with distinct realms of expertise in order to promote broad-based and comprehensive training in AD research (4) assistance integrating large scale, open source data supported by NIA such as AMP- AD and ADNI into their own research (5) personalized mentorship in professional development including grant writing, oral presentations, and networking. Finally, this training program is designed to maximize interactions among trainees and training faculty that cross levels of analysis and to create a rigorous but supportive training environment that will prepare trainees for success in laboratory science and provide them with the knowledge and skills required to make a significant impact in advancing treatments for AD.

Public Health Relevance

We have designed a program which will provide comprehensive training to UF doctoral students seeking to understand Alzheimer's Disease. This program also trains students on potential risk factors and co?morbidities and how they may be related to Alzheimer's Disease.

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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University of Florida
Schools of Medicine
United States
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