This is an application from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), in conjunction with three neighboring institutions (the Burnham Institute, the Salk Institute, and the Scripps Research Institute), for a 5-year renewal of the Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) program, in response to the RFA-AG-10-007. The proposed program is designed to expand the pipeline of new physician investigators in the field of aging. It will provide support to 18 medical students per year from across the country selected for training experiences of 8 to 12 consecutive weeks full-time. We will make special efforts to recruit medical students from underrepresented racial or ethnic minority groups, trainees with disabilities, and trainees from disadvantaged backgrounds. All the trainees will spend the summer in San Diego working under the supervision of experienced scientists who have outstanding track records in research as well as in research training. A primary focus of our program will be on aging well in the context of age-associated disorders and disabilities. Strengths of our faculty range from basic and molecular biology to clinical, epidemiologic, and therapeutic research on aging and age-related disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, age-related macular degeneration, arthritis, and depression. The faculty has an excellent track record of NIA and other federal funding and of research training of medical students. The most important aspects of this program will be hands on-research experience and formation of a mentoring relationship. In addition, a combination of didactics and clinical exposure to geriatrics will reinforce the skills learned in the direct research experience. One area of interest will be the issues involved in research relevant to healthcare disparities. The trainees will have a draft of a poster by the end of their summer research, with the goal of presenting a formal poster at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society and developing a publishable article within a year. An Executive Committee will oversee the recruitment and training of the students. There will be a rigorous and extensive evaluation of the program by trainees and participating faculty, including long-term follow-up. A password-protected website will be used to facilitate ongoing communication among the trainees and mentors. This program will offer a unique opportunity for medical students from across the country to work with some of the best molecular, translational, and clinical scientists working on aging-related research.

Public Health Relevance

There is a dire need for physician scientists in geriatrics. This research training program is intended to increase the number and diversity of medical students who have interest and experience in research relevant to aging. The goal is to help develop the research workforce that is needed to meet the needs of our rapidly aging society.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
NRSA Short -Term Research Training (T35)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-3 (M1))
Program Officer
Eldadah, Basil A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California San Diego
Schools of Medicine
La Jolla
United States
Zip Code
Ricalde, Aldrich; Allison, Matthew; Rifkin, Dena et al. (2018) Anthropometric measures of obesity and renal artery calcification: Results from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis 271:142-147
Neppala, Pushpa; Sherer, Michael V; Larson, Grant et al. (2018) An interactive contouring module improves engagement and interest in radiation oncology among preclinical medical students: Results of a randomized trial. Pract Radiat Oncol 8:e190-e198
Jeste, Dilip V; Avanzino, Julie; Depp, Colin A et al. (2018) Effect of short-term research training programs on medical students' attitudes toward aging. Gerontol Geriatr Educ 39:214-222
Loh, Tiffany Y; Rubin, Ashley G; Jiang, Shang I Brian (2017) Basal Cell Carcinoma of the Dorsal Foot: An Update and Comprehensive Review of the Literature. Dermatol Surg 43:32-39
Heldt Manica, Lucas A; Cohen, Philip R (2017) Testosterone Pellet Associated Dermatitis: Report and Review of Testopel-related Cutaneous Adverse Effects. Cureus 9:e1560
Gali, Helena E; Afshari, Natalie A (2017) Patient-centered advancements in cataract surgery. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 28:1-2
Sakoda, Marissa E; Fazeli, Pariya L; Ellis, Ronald J et al. (2017) Higher Cystatin C Levels Are Associated With Neurocognitive Impairment in Older HIV+ Adults. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 74:243-249
Eimpunth, Sasima; Goldenberg, Alina; Hamman, Michael Shane et al. (2017) Squamous Cell Carcinoma In Situ Upstaged to Invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A 5-Year, Single Institution Retrospective Review. Dermatol Surg 43:698-703
Montoya, Jessica L; Iudicello, Jennifer; Oppenheim, Hannah A et al. (2017) Coagulation imbalance and neurocognitive functioning in older HIV-positive adults on suppressive antiretroviral therapy. AIDS 31:787-795
Stiff, Katherine M; Cohen, Philip R (2017) Vegas (Verruciform Genital-Associated) Xanthoma: A Comprehensive Literature Review. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb) 7:65-79

Showing the most recent 10 out of 62 publications