Advances in understanding fundamental processes of aging have led to a variety of investigational therapies to delay or prevent age-related diseases and conditions. These geroscience therapeutics hold the promise of revolutionizing medical care of older adults by treating the complex syndromes of aging and preserving health and independence. A crucial bottleneck is the study of geroscience therapeutics in early-stage, first-in-human, or proof-of-concept clinical trials. There is a limited pool of clinical investigators with the combination of knowledge and skills at the interface of clinical research, care of older adults, and aging biology needed to successfully design, fund, and implement geroscience trials. Current training pipelines are insufficient to meet the need. The sixth retreat of the National Institute on Aging R24 Geroscience Network brought together basic scientists, gerontologists, clinicians, and clinical researchers from the United States and Europe to discuss how to identify, recruit, and train investigators who can perform early-stage clinical trials in geroscience. We present herein the group's consensus on necessary subject domains and competencies, identification of candidate learners, credentialing learners, and the efficient and rapid implementation of training programs. Foundations and funding agencies have crucial roles to play in catalyzing the development of these programs. Geriatrician investigators are indispensable but cannot meet the need alone. Translational geroscience training programs can create a cadre of groundbreaking investigators from a variety of backgrounds and foster institutional cultures supportive of multidisciplinary translational aging research to turn innovative ideas into transformative therapeutics that can improve the health and independence of older adults. J Am Geriatr Soc 67:1934–1939, 2019.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors are grateful to all the participants in the Geroscience Network retreats. Financial Disclosure: This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grant R24 AG44396 (principal investigator: J.L.K.) and the Translational Geroscience Network R33 AG061456 (principal investigator: J.L.K.). Conflicts of Interest: There are no conflicts of interest. Author Contributions: All authors made significant conceptual contributions to the manuscript, provided editing, and approved the final manuscript. J.C.N., J.L.S., J.L.K., and R.J.P. wrote the initial manuscript and were responsible for subsequent final revisions. Sponsor's Role: Not applicable.
© 2019 The Authors. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The American Geriatrics Society.
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