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Research Training in Biogerontology

Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Training Program
Scott Pletcher, Ph.D., Director

Overview

The U-M Geriatrics Center’s research training program emphasizes studies of the biology of the aging process and its relation to human diseases of late life. Areas of particular interest include:

Supported by a training grant from the National Institute on Aging, research fellowships provide stipends and related expenses to qualified applicants. The program offers:

Required experiences include:

Research Training Program
Information for Applicants

The Geriatrics Center supervises an NIA-funded training program, "Research Training in Biogerontology" (formerly known as "Biomedical Research Training in the Biology of Aging"). The program provides training and financial support for predoctoral and postdoctoral students committed to laboratory studies of the cellular and molecular basis of aging and the links between the aging process and late-life illnesses and disabilities. The 21 faculty members who comprise the preceptor group come from a wide range of departments and divisions at the University of Michigan, including Internal Medicine, Pathology, Kinesiology, Orthopedic Surgery, Neurology, Human Genetics, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Cell and Developmental Biology, Urology, and Biological Chemistry. The training program provides students with valuable training experiences, including a guest seminar series, trainee meetings, and assistance with preparation for national meeting presentations. The central activity of all trainees is hands-on laboratory work on individual research projects under the supervision of their chosen mentor.

A training grant supported by the National Institute on Aging, active since 1984, supports both pre and post-doctoral students with stipend rates based on current NIH guidelines. In addition, most of our laboratories work closely with our two major core grants, the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (directed by Jeffrey Halter) and the Nathan Shock Center of Excellence for the Biology of Aging (directed by Richard Miller). Core facilities include specialized laboratories and consultant services in muscle biology, production and analysis of transgenic and mutant mice, biostatistics and experimental design, gene expression analysis, development of new animal models, use of human subjects, comparative biology of aging, and genetic studies in invertebrate models.

Although program activities are open to all students and postdoctoral fellows who are interested in aging research, financial support can also be provided to six predoctoral and three postdoctoral fellows each year. Predoctoral applicants are typically supported for two years after they achieve candidacy in their home department; postdoctoral fellows typically receive two years of financial support. Applications are evaluated for academic excellence, commitment of mentor and trainee to biogerontology, and likelihood that the project will produce exciting research results. Because of Federal regulations, only US citizens and permanent residents are eligible for support from the NIA training grant.

Individuals interested in applying for support from the Aging Training Program should forward a letter of interest, a letter of support from the mentor, a one page description of the proposed research project, a complete curriculum vitae and bibliography, graduate transcript, and at least two additional letters of recommendation to:

Reynetta Fath
109 Zina Pitcher Place
University of Michigan Geriatrics Center
3016 BSRB
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2200
E-mail: rlfath@umich.edu
Phone: (734) 936-8198