Two training programs housed in the college and providing doctoral students with specialized training in research, one in cognitive aging and the other in movement disorders, have received five-year renewal funding from the National Institutes of Health.
The T32 Research Training in Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Cognition in Aging, MCI, and Alzheimer’s Disease program focuses on training doctoral students to explore treatments to prevent or slow cognitive aging, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. The grant renewal will fund this long-running UF program into its 20th year.
“Through the growth of the McKnight Brain Institute, 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Cognitive Aging and Memory Center and Institute on Aging, our institution has become a world leader in interventions for maintaining and improving late life cognition,” said Michael Marsiske, Ph.D., a professor in PHHP’s department of clinical and health psychology and training director since 2003. “This iteration of our training program leverages these strengths with a tightened focus on training future scholars in cognitive aging and intervention research.”
Two leading experts in cognitive aging, Glenn Smith, Ph.D., a professor and chair of the department of clinical and health psychology, and Adam Woods, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department and associate director of the Center for Cognitive Aging and Memory, have been added to the program as training directors.
The UF Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Training in Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration program trains doctoral students to become independent researchers whose work will lead to new treatments for Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, tremor and ataxia.
The program is designed to give trainees a solid foundation in research methodology and data presentation and increase interaction between trainees from clinical and basic science backgrounds. Dawn Bowers, Ph.D., a professor of clinical and health psychology, and David Vaillancourt, Ph.D., a professor of applied physiology and kinesiology at the College of Health and Human Performance, direct the program.
“Over the past five years, our trainees have represented vibrant, diverse students with unique and varying approaches to research in movement disorders — genetic, molecular and translational,” said Bowers, also a member of UF’s McKnight Brain Institute. “Based on their feedback, we have more than met the key training emphasis of our unique program, namely, contextualizing their research and setting the stage for team science moving forward.”