Research Education Core (REC)
The purpose of the Research Education Core (REC) is to foster the career development of junior faculty from multiple disciplines into academic scientists in gerontology and geriatrics, focusing on the theme of exercise and activity rehabilitation and recovery research. The REC supports mentor-based research training and education to promote the career development of REC Scholars as well as other junior faculty, fellows, and students pursuing research careers in aging.
The UM-OAIC has a successful history of mentored training that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries to develop novel research for improving function and independence in older persons. This has enriched the cadre of scientists at UM and elsewhere conducting aging research in exercise and rehabilitation science.
The specific aims of the REC are to:
Recruit, Select and Support REC Scholars
Identify, select, and support promising junior faculty and prepare them as independent investigators in the design and implementation of exercise rehabilitation research to foster independence in older people with disabling chronic diseases. This is accomplished by:
- Recruiting and selecting talented junior faculty whose research and career goals are congruent with the UM-OAIC goals and
- Ensuring support for the REC Scholars by departmental commitment to protected time for research training and mentoring, access to resources for the conduct of pilot and exploratory studies, and career development opportunities.
Mentor REC Scholars and Affiliated Scholars
Provide a multidisciplinary team approach for individual and group mentoring to REC Faculty Scholars and Affiliated Faculty Scholars and trainees conducting research congruent with the UM-OAIC, but receiving salary from other career development funding mechanisms. This is accomplished by:
- Building interdisciplinary Research Working Groups (RWGs) that include the Scholar, the PI’s primary mentor, a scientist from each core, and ad hoc experts to provide mentoring and guidance on the design, implementation, and conduct of their studies. RWGs ensure comprehensive mentoring and career development, guidance in the application of best practices for the conduct of their research, access to collaborations, and the infrastructure to guide the investigator’s academic development
Provide Career Development Opportunities in Areas Relevant to Aging Research
The REC training program is tailored to meet the individual and group needs of REC Scholars and other trainees. This is accomplished by:
- Developing an individualized career development plan (CDP) that leverages the strengths of the UM-OAIC and institutional career development resources to meet the needs of each REC Scholar. Scholars develop a working CDP for didatic and experiential, applied training with their mentor in the classroom, laboratory and clinic that meets their academic needs. All receive training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) with an emphasis on ethical and safety issues in studying older people.
- Providing opportunities to REC scholars, REC affiliated scholars, fellows, and students for additional instruction and collaboration in scholar-driven RWG meetings and data reviews, journal clubs, Center on Aging seminars, mock study sections, and research methods seminars presented in conjunction with other UM campuses and the Johns Hopkins OAIC, and the NIA Gerontology Research Center. Proximity to NIH allows easy access to other aging-related seminars.
Evaluate the Activities of the REC
This is being achieved by an evaluation team that measures the short term and long term successes of the REC aims using established quantitative and qualitative metrics, informal focus groups and individual meetings to track the needs and accomplishments of scholars, success of our trainees and meetings to provide feedback to REC scholars, other trainees, mentors and UM-OAIC leadership and advisory committees.
The REC's comprehensive research training program has developed junior scholars trained with skills at the bench and in the conduct of clinical research, posed to translate clinical problems into mechanistic studies, and laboratory findings into clinical application in the elderly. This is why our scholars are so successful in the receipt of federal career development awards (NIH Ks and VA CDAs), and subsequent independent research funding and academic promotion.
The Center is excited to offer the opportunity for Pepper Center pilot investigators and junior scholars as well as Pepper Center affiliates that are interested in applying for a pilot or junior scholar position in the future to apply for micro-funds ranging from $500-$1,000 for a current project that relates to the Pepper Center theme. There is no deadline to apply as funds are available on an as needed basis. For more information refer to Pepper Center Micro Funding.
For More Information
Contact Anne Sullens
Current REC Junior Scholars
Friedrich Rainer von Coelln, DrMed
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
University of Maryland, School of Medicine
Funded Scholar 2017-2020
Research Areas of Interest: Parkinson's disease, PSP, MSA, CBS/CBD, dystonia, ataxia, tics, chorea, involuntary movements, genetics, gait analysis, big data, data visualization
REC Project Title: "Towards Next-Generation Phenotyping in Parkinson Disease: Quantitative Analysis of Gait and Balance Using a Portable Biosensor Device"
Tasneem Khambaty, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
University of Maryland Baltimore County
Funded Scholar 2018-2021
Research Areas of Interest: Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine
REC Project Title: "Depressive Symptoms, Executive Function, and Trajectories of Diabetes Biomarkers: Relations to Functional Status, and Race-Related Disparities in the HANDLS Study"