Research Education Component
Core Leader: Gary Gerstenblith, MD
The primary purpose of the Research Education Component (REC), formerly known as the Research Career Development Core (RCDC), is to increase the workforce of experts dedicated to scholarship on frailty and its translation into strategies to increase independence in older adults. The REC accomplishes this by identifying and selecting outstanding junior faculty investigators to pursue frailty-related discovery and by providing them with the comprehensive support necessary to develop independent research careers focused on such discovery. The core provides mentorship, salary support, research resources and a community of scholarship to its primary awardees to assist their pursuit or solidify their emergence as independent investigators.
Overall, the REC provides both a focus for frailty- and aging- related training activities for junior investigators from the entire University, as well as more extensive support, training and mentorship to a select few whose careers we can pivotally aid, and who will emerge as aging and frailty focused independent investigators who will translate their expertise across disciplines and lead research in whose applications will improve independence in older adults. This facilitates the junior investigators’ ability to apply basic research findings to clinical investigation and interventions, translate clinical findings into mechanistic studies, disseminate the results of clinical investigation to the health provider and broader community, and acquire the leadership and communication skills required to become academic leaders with independent research careers who can easily work across disciplines to create the highest quality, frailty-focused science.
The specific aims of the REC are:
- To identify, attract, and select for career development support a diverse and interdisciplinary group of junior investigators from across JHU with the greatest potential to become outstanding research leaders focused on frailty and how to ameliorate it, and on maintaining independence with increasing age.
- To provide the research infrastructure and salary support to these junior investigators so as to enable them to successfully bridge the critical transition to independent research leadership and grant funding.
- To provide each supported individual with mentorship individualized to his or her needs and to monitor the progress of the research project and career development.
- To develop for each supported individual a program of subject-area, methodological and leadership training needed to equip them to excel in their career goals, and promote its successful completion.
- To provide an academic home and an intellectual ‘stimulus zone’ for supported faculty as well as postdoctoral fellows, pre-doctoral students, and junior faculty working on frailty-related projects.