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Stanford Training Program in Aging Research

Thomas A. Rando

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National Institutes of Health (NIH)
This is a new application for a Stanford Training Program in Aging Research (TPAR) to initiate a training program that will support graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to pursue research in aging and to become future leaders in the field. This program will build upon the remarkable growth of exciting aging research at Stanford and the recent formation of a broader Program in Aging. While the number of positions requested is modest, we would expect that the training program would grow and expand in conjunction with the broader program over time and based upon a track record of success. In addition, the establishment of TPAR will serve as focal point for the recruitment of the best and brightest students with an interest in aging research, thereby increasing the percentage of Stanford trainees working in the aging field. Along with the three Co-Directors, TPAR consists of an exceptional group of 23 faculty members from 16 different departments and programs to serve as the core affiliated faculty whose interests and areas of expertise span a range of crucial topics within the biology of aging. We have outlined five Tracks (stem cells, genetics, neuroscience, cancer, and immunology) that focus on aging in these specific contexts and that students and fellows can choose to pursue. TPAR aims to provide a solid foundation of training in aging across sub-disciplines by formal didactics, a Frontiers in Aging seminar series, an annual Symposium on Aging, a weekly Trainee Research Talk program, and a designated mentoring program. An innovative aspect of the Program includes an exposure to clinical geriatrics. Receiving broad institutional support, TPAR is poised to be immediately integrated into the established infrastructure of graduate education and postdoctoral training at Stanford University. TPAR will benefit immensely from the continuing efforts and success of Stanford University programs to recruit and retain applicants from diverse background. The population of the country is aging, with a much higher percentage of individuals over 70 years of age than ever before and with an ever increasing percentage affected by devastating diseases of aging such as heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. The emphasis of TPAR will be to provide a broad, interdisciplinary education to a wide range to trainees, to serve to coordinateaging research and training activities across the entire campus, and to help disseminate basic and translational aging research by preparing trainees for the next steps in their careers. In doing so, we would hope that TPAR would serve not only the individual trainees but also the field of aging research and society at large.

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