Training in the Neurobiology of Aging and Alzheimer's Disease

Project Details


Summary With the “graying of America” we are faced with the need to address the ever increasing number of individuals in our society who have age-associated nervous system diseases and conditions. To address this problem, we need multidisciplinary approaches to facilitate the discovery of the mechanisms, treatments and prevention of these diseases. Active, integrated research-based training of pre-doctoral students is a key to re-supplying the research personnel needed to address these biomedical health care issues in a sustainable manner. Herein we propose to continue a successful pre-doctoral program at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) that focuses on the neurobiology of aging. During this funding cycle we supported 33 fellows, of whom 22 completed their training and their Ph.D. The trainees were very productive and published 46 peer-reviewed papers to date; we also trained 7 (of 33 = 21.2%) minority students. Importantly, we increased our retention/graduation rate from 84.6% in the prior 5-year funding period to 100% in the most recent funding cycle. The proposed training program will enhance an already strong and successful training program in the neurobiology of aging. The continuation of our predoctoral training program is proposed, as our Institute for Healthy Aging has matured through the addition of faculty and continued funding of program project grants, such as that led by the PI, Dr. Meharvan Singh. Such growth has facilitated more basic, translational and clinical research into the causes, treatment and prevention of brain aging and Alzheimer's Disease at the UNTHSC. Collectively, these new initiatives create a stimulating environment for the training of predoctoral students in the neurobiology of aging. Unique and innovative features of the training program for the next period of funding include: (1) Several experiential learning opportunities to include the Geriatrics Skills Lab and the Translational Aging & Alzheimer's Disease Research Program; (2) our continued emphasis on diversity training, that resulted in greater than 20% minority participation in the training program; 3) Career counseling and interview skill development program, 4) techniques in neuroscience program; 5) our institutional support which will expand those students who will have access to some or all of this training program; 6) our focus on the development of research excellence and leadership among our trainees; and 7) our Mentoring-the-Mentor Program which trains junior faculty in mentoring trainees under the guidance of a senior faculty. Collectively, these attributes of our Neurobiology of Aging Training Program has produced an outstanding program of training that we wish to continue.
Effective start/end date1/05/0230/04/24


  • National Institute on Aging


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