This submission is for continued support (years 21-26) of the T32 ?Research Training in Late- life Neuropsychiatric Disorders?. The primary goal of this proposal is to train postdoctoral (MD, MD/PhD, and PhD) fellows for careers as independent researchers in Late-Life Neuropsychiatric Disorders. At the last competitive review in Nov 2013 the reviewers concluded that, ?The program, now in its fifteenth year, has many important strengths including a well-structured curriculum, the range of expertise and qualifications of the faculty, effective leadership and the wealth of resources accessible to trainees through the affiliated departments and programs. The program has a clear and compelling rationale for its focus on late life, both in terms of clinical problems unique to the elderly and methodological and conceptual challenges in conducting research with this age group. However, the program's most compelling strength is the successful record of its graduates as measured by productivity, academic advancement, research funding, and contributions to science. In particular, the program has had a particularly high representation of physician scientists.? The success of the training program is reflected in both the accomplishments of the trainees and the diversity of the fellows. In the past 15 years, 28 fellows received support from the T32; 46% female, 25% MDs, 14% MD/PhDs and 61% PhDs. 11% of the fellows are under-represented minorities, and 36% come from cultural or ethnic backgrounds that are either not Caucasian or not from North America or Europe. The graduation rate is 94% (22/23 ? the 1 drop-out, later came back to research at Columbia and received a K award). Of the 5 fellows not yet graduated, 4 fellows are in training (1 third fellow will graduate on 6/30/18, 1 a second-year fellow, and 2 first year fellows) and one fellow will begin training on 7/1/18. Of the 23 fellows who have graduated in the last 15 years, 35% have received K awards and of 6 fellows who finished their K 50% have received an R award. Three fellows who did not receive a K received a NARSAD. Thus 48% of graduates have received independent funding. 65% of graduates are in research-intensive positions and 9% in research- related positions. In the past 20 years all fellowship positions have been filled with very qualified candidates. A new research plan for the Department of Psychiatry created the Brain Aging and Mental Health initiative. There are two divisions in this initiative; the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry headed by Dr. Devanand (mentor) focuses on studies mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease. The division of Neurobiology and Therapeutics of Aging, headed by Dr. Bret Rutherford (Director of Curriculum) focuses on the interplay between aging-associated processes and late-life psychiatric disorders. There are also changes in the T32 including 1) six new mentors that strengthen the basic science and translational faculty, 2) revision in the statistics and research design classes 3) addition of the fellow's monthly seminar and CNS talks 3) additions to the Responsible Conduct of Research curriculum.
There is a shortage of clinical and basic researchers focused on psychiatric disorders in the elderly. The goal of this training program continues to be the development of career scientists with the expertise needed to conduct programmatic basic and/or clinical research in the neuropsychiatric disorders of late-life.
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