The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) has been a leader in mammalian genetics research and education since its inception in 1929. JAX pioneered the development of genetic approaches toward understanding fundamental questions in mammalian development and the genetic underpinnings of human disease. JAX also has a long and illustrious track record of training postdoctoral, and more recently predoctoral scholars, to be productive researchers at the nexus of systems genetics, genomics and computational biology. To support JAX's dual mission of discovery and education, we continually strive to provide cutting-edge, unique, and highly relevant training opportunities designed to prepare all JAX trainees for successful scientific careers. An NIA T32?funded Training Program in Precision Genetics of Aging and Dementia (PGAD) would provide high-quality graduate and postdoctoral training to prepare its trainees for careers as independent investigators in universities, research institutions and the biomedical industry. It would bring together 16 highly productive and well-funded faculty mentors at the JAX Mammalian Genetics campus in Bar Harbor, ME and the JAX Genomic Medicine campus in Farmington, CT who provide a uniquely interdisciplinary, integrated and comprehensive training environment. Research foci within the context of aging and age-related disease include mammalian genetics, hematology, vascular biology, immunology, nephrology, neurology, behavior, microbiome, systems genetics, and bioinformatics. We seek to provide two slots for postdoctoral fellows, and request support for two predoctoral students. JAX participates in collaborative Ph.D. training programs with the Tufts School of Medicine, the University of Maine, and the University of Connecticut that have grown to critical mass. Specific criteria are used to admit both pre- and postdoctoral trainees into the program. Required and elective curricula have been developed to enrich the training experience. Trainees will test hypotheses regarding the genetic underpinnings of aging and disease, and will model new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, using cutting-edge computational and mouse genetics resources uniquely available to them at JAX. Trainees will have access to focused and individualized career development opportunities, such as teaching and grant writing experiences, and will be integrated into seminars, workshops, and research interest groups. They will write external funding applications, present their findings at scientific meetings, and publish in peer-reviewed journals. Trainee evaluation will be rigorous and coupled with support for growth. The program will thus provide exceptional research opportunities in a stimulating scientific training environment and enable trainees to launch successful independent careers in biomedical research.
/RELEVANCE TO PUBLIC HEALTH The genetic basis for normal mammalian aging and age-related disease is still largely unexplored. Continued multidisciplinary, rigorous and creative training of the next generation of scientists is necessary for the biomedical and scientific community to develop therapies and interventions for the growing aging population and the increase in Alzheimer's disease incidence.