The RCDC’s overall goal is to develop junior investigators to become the next generation of leaders in geriatric/gerontologic research. We are working towards accomplishing this mission through the creation of a training program for clinician scientists and talented young investigators who are interested in understanding cardiac and skeletal muscle dysfunction in aging and disease. This training program provides selected trainees with partial salary support, travel, individually tailored course work, grant-writing instruction, career mentoring and consultation, didactic training, networking with established investigators, and regular evaluation of their research learning experience. The trainees have access to infrastructural support- laboratories, office space, computers, interview and/or clinical research rooms, administrative support, statistical assistance, and grant writers – all available at the Donald W. Reynolds Instutute on Aging and elsewhere on the UAMS campus and around the region. This well integrated training and mentoring program with a research-intensive environment is successfully nurturing and promoting talented junior facility as they acquire and refine the skills that are necessary to assume research independence and future academic leadership, i.e., research study design, proposal development and execution, writing for scientific publications, professionalism and leadership training, and the ability to translate their research findings into effective and successful future inventions.
We have added two new trainees to the RCDC program: Masil George, M.D., was accepted as an RCDC trainee in 2011, during her second year of her fellowship when she spent approximately 90% of her time doing research. She is a highly promising junior geriatrician, who after completing one year of a clinical geriatric fellowship and a second year of research, decided to pursue the track of a physician scientist. She has presented 3 abstracts at national meetings, has authored a paper which is submitted and has another manuscript in preparation. She has also written a pilot project investigating “Biologic factors in Cardiac Cachexia”, which has been funded by the OAIC. Dr. George is also a co-investigator in another clinical research project assessing cardiovascular health in elderly individuals with metabolic syndrome.
Steven Rogers Ph.D. (UA Fayetteville), moved to Little Rock in November, 2011. He is an outstanding postdoctoral fellow who has demonstrated a keen interest in the aging field in the area of cardiovascular biology and endothelial cell senescence as induced by perturbations in high as well as low glucose levels. Dr. Rogers is preparing a manuscript of his novel findings and is applying for an American Heart Association young investigator grant, as well as an NIH postdoctoral fellowship support grant. this year he has co-authored 3 abstracts, one submitted to the American heart Association and 2 to the Gerontologic Society of America. Dr. Rogers will be supported by the RCDC to further develop his interest in aging research related to the theme of the OAIC. He will devote 95% effort to working in the laboratory but will also collaborate with other clinician-scientists so that he can appreciate the translation impact of his work.