The Clinical and Translational Pre-doctoral Training Program in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) provides support to four pre-doctoral students with the purpose of providing comprehensive training to future independent investigators who desire to understand ADRD. This program prepares students to examine potential risk factors and co-morbidities and how they may be related to ADRD. The training program is designed to strengthen skills imperative to independent investigators and involves a combination of coursework, independent research, professional development, written proposals, and continuous mentor feedback.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), T32 award at the University of Florida is under the direction of the Program Director, Dr. Jada Lewis and Co-Director Dr. Jennifer Bizon.
The Director and Co-Directors are assisted by an internal and external advisory committees as well as a group of faculty mentors. The advisory committees and mentors are housed in various departments across the university to include the Department of Neuroscience, the Department of Neurology, the Department of Pharmacology, and other departments and colleges to create an interdisciplinary approach.
Dr. Jada Lewis, Director
Dr. Jennifer Bizon, Co-Director
Brittany DeFeis (Smith Lab)
Richard Dragone (Setlow and Febo Labs)
Emily Koller (Chakrabarty and Lewis Labs)
Ariel Walker (Lewis Lab)
In addition to all requirements of their individual graduate programs, individuals accepted into this training program must complete the following courses either before joining or while a member of the program:
|NEW (Fall 2019): Comprehensive Perspectives on ADRD|
|Grant Writing (GMS 5905 or equivalent)|
|Statistics & Experimental Design (PHC6050, STA6166 or CLP 6527)|
|Research Ethics (GMS 7877 or equivalent)|
|Seminar (GMS 6792 or equivalent)|
The core requirements of the program include the following:
1. Research which is co-mentored by one faculty mentor who is actively engaged in ADRD research and one faculty mentor conducting research in one additional area that is relevant to AD (aging, related neurological or psychiatric co-morbidities)
Trainees will select a secondary mentor from training faculty by April of 2019 to join their official committees
Integration of faculty member outside of ADRD is flexible but could include:
- complete integration of both co-mentors and trainee into a single dissertation project
- a secondary research project that takes advantage of the second mentor’s research or clinical strengths
- technique-based learning or clinical shadowing
- jointly writing a case history or review article on aging, related neurological or psychiatric co-morbidities and its relevance to ADRD
2. Completion of 8 hours of required coursework as outlined below.
The coursework is intended to add value to the trainee’s experience in the area of ADRD; however, equivalent courses already required by student’s existing graduate requirements will be considered for substitutions. Such requests may be submitted to the T32 Steering Committee for approval.
- Statistics and experimental design course (3 hrs)
- Measurement, Research Design, and Statistical Analysis I (CLP 6527) – Clinical and Health Psychology
- Statistics I (STA 6166) – Department of Psychology
- Biostatistical Methods I (PHC 6050) – Department of Biostatistics
- Research ethics course (1 hr)
- Comprehensive perspectives on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (CADRD, 2hr)
This is a new course that will be offered each fall semester. It will provide trainees with a comprehensive prospective of ADRD and will be taught by mentors in this program. The format will integrate didactic lectures and discussion-based learning. All mentors will also be encouraged to attend this class to promote discussion and maximize interactions between trainees, mentors, and other UF faculty working in research areas relevant to ADRD.
Module 1: Principles of Molecular Biology and Neurogenetics
Module 2: Neuropsychology of ADRD
Module 3: Neuroimaging of ADRD
Module 4: Neuropathology of ADRD
Module 5: Comorbidities of ADRD
Module 6: Animal models of ADRD
Module 7: Translation of Basic Science: Drug Design and Clinical Trials
Module 8: Rigor, Reproducibility and Transparency in Research
- Grant Writing Course (GMS 5905 or equivalent, 1 hr). Note that GMS 5905 focuses on a preparation of a NIH-NRSA style proposal as it relates to neuroscience topics and culminates in the submission of an F grant to NIH. While other courses may be substituted, a submission of a F31 by the completion of the training program is expected.
- Graduate Student Seminar (GMS 6792 or equivalent, 1 hr). This course is focused on development of professional presentation skills and peer assessment.
3. Additional Activities:
- Introduction to large-scale databases including ADNI, AMP-AD, and M2OVE-AD
- Mentored attendance at International ADRD conferences
- Monthly lunches with Dr. Lewis and Dr. Bizon to discuss professional development and career advancement