Regenstrief research scientists and Indiana University School of Medicine faculty Nicole Fowler, Ph.D., MHSA, and Christopher Callahan, M.D., will be co-leading a new IU training program focused on social and behavioral research in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia research. Brittney-Shea Herbert, Ph.D., assistant dean for physician scientist development at IU School of Medicine, is also a co-director of the new training program.
The five-year T32 grant to Indiana University from the National Institute on Aging will create The Indiana Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Medical Scientist Training Program for M.D.-PhD students. The program will leverage the strengths and significant funding of IU’s Alzheimer’s disease research infrastructure, which includes the IU Center for Aging Research at Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Research Center.
Additionally, the curriculum also will bridge to the social and behavioral science strengths of the newly-established Irsay Family Research Institute that specializes in the sociomedical sciences. This new training program will be part of the IU School of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program and expand graduate and research training to the medical neuroscience program at the IU School of Medicine Stark Neurosciences Research Institute and IU Bloomington’s Department of Sociology, which has a top-ranked graduate program.
“This program is one of the few M.D.-PhD programs in the country that will focus on social and behavioral science training in Alzheimer’s disease. This is crucial to grow the pipeline of scientists trying to tackle the complex clinical, social, and policy issues of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Fowler. “We hope this program will encourage the students to choose a career in Alzheimer’s disease research.”
Drs. Fowler and Herbert will help develop the program, including creating the admissions and mentoring processes. Dr. Callahan will offer career guidance to the students.