Emphasizing multidisciplinary research training across the translational spectrum for clinician and non-clinician scientists doing work in biomedical, psychosocial, population health, or implementation science fields to enhance resilience in aging

About the program

The Duke Aging Center T32 program emphasizes multidisciplinary research training across the translational spectrum, and facilitates supplemental enrichment activities relevant to clinician and non-clinician scientists doing work in biomedical, psychosocial, population health, or implementation science fields to enhance resilience in aging.

The goal of our postdoctoral research training program is to produce highly skilled research scientists who have the potential for leadership in gerontological research. In the Duke Aging Center Postdoctoral Research Training Program (RTP), much of the training for each fellow is provided by that person’s faculty mentor(s) in a research apprenticeship program. A fellow carries out his/her own research as a junior colleague in the mentor’s research program or laboratory. In addition to working in their mentors’ programs, all fellows attend a weekly interdisciplinary didactic seminar.

All fellows attend a weekly interdisciplinary didactic seminar as a cornerstone of their training experience. Over each two-year period, the seminar covers four topical areas:

  • biomedical aspects of aging,
  • psychology of aging,
  • sociology of aging,
  • and professional practices.

This structure enables the research training program (RTP) to provide highly specialized and individualized training in a fellow’s substantive area while at the same time providing a broad understanding of basic gerontological issues as well. This strategy encourages each developing scientist to relate his/her work to the overall field of aging, and also, on a more practical level, to mix with other scholars and build a network of colleagues and collaborators in gerontology. The cross-fertilization of ideas that occurs in this interdisciplinary framework has, in fact, lead to cross-disciplinary work among fellows and faculty.

Our seminar is attended by the trainees from this and other training programs at Duke and in the area, by visiting scholars to the Aging Center and to the campus, and by faculty associated with the Aging Center. It is a forum for a discussion of gerontological issues from many perspectives.

Org chart of Aging Center T32

 

 

Grace BrennanGrace Brennan, PhD

Grace is a clinical psychologist working under the mentorship of Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi. Her research focuses on the development of disinhibitory psychopathology across the lifespan. Her work examines the cognitive and affective mechanisms contributing to disinhibited behaviors (e.g., aggression, problematic substance use) as well as the social and health consequences for individuals who chronically engage in these behaviors. Grace uses both lab-based experimental paradigms and longitudinal cohort study designs in her research. Grace received her B.S. in Psychology and German Studies from the College of William & Mary and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Yale University.


Brett Burrows Brett Burrows, PhD

Brett completed his PhD in Kinesiology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He also earned a B.S. and M.S. in Exercise Physiology from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. During his doctorate, his research focused on improving the health and quality of life of patients with end-stage kidney disease through patient-centered clinical research strategies involving novel exercise and psychosocial interventions. Specifically, Brett was interested in reducing depressive symptoms to boost adherence to exercise prescription. Brett is also interested in multidisciplinary research approaches to improve patient-centered outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease. Currently, for his RTP Fellowship, Brett is working under the mentorship of Drs. Barrett Bowling and Kelli Allen and is examining the association between depressive symptoms, physical resilience trajectory, and incident health stressors in older adult veterans with advanced chronic kidney disease.


Reed DeAngelis, PhDReed DeAngelis, PhD

I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development in the Duke University School of Medicine. In 2023, I received my PhD in sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I also trained at the Carolina Population Center.

I research population inequities in stress, health, and aging. Within this area, I examine how individual health and longevity is shaped by factors like residential segregation, environmental pollution, policing, discrimination, and religion/spirituality.  My studies are published in Social Forces, Demography, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Race and Justice, among other outlets. My studies have won awards from the American Sociological Association. They have also been featured in The New York Times, Psychology Today, Yahoo! News, Policing Insight, The Conversation, and Newsweek.

When I'm not working, I'm cooking and writing music with my partner, Allison, and taking walks with our rescue mutt, Stewart. In past lives, I toured in punk bands, worked as a line cook in commercial kitchens, and studied philosophy.

 


Eric Griffith, PhD Eric Griffith, PhD

Dr. Eric Griffith received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and then worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke's Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity. He completed his dissertation fieldwork in central Mexico, focusing on the experiences of familial caregivers for people living with Alzheimer’s disease. Eric’s research interests include biocultural anthropology, cognitive aging, health disparities, and social determinants of health. He is currently a T32 Postdoctoral Researcher in the Duke Aging Center, working under the direction of Dr. Maria Marquine.


Chris Vann, PhD Chris Vann, PhD

Chris is an exercise physiologist with a research focus centered in skeletal muscle physiology. His research focuses on elucidating mechanisms of tissue-to-tissue crosstalk and understanding how exercise-induced changes in epigenetic, genetic, and protein-level factors relate to health outcomes across the agespan. During his graduate work, Chris focused on interrogating molecular mechanisms underpinning adaptation to resistance exercise. Chris’ postdoctoral research has focused on investigating exercise induced changes in small RNA expression and how changes in small RNA expression regulate biological pathways. For his RTP Project, Chris is working under the mentorship of Drs. Virginia Kraus and William Kraus to investigate the relationship of inflammatory biomarkers and small RNA on physical performance metrics across the agespan. Chris is a veteran of the US Marines and received his B.S. in Physical Activity and Health, M.S. in Exercise Science, and Ph.D. in Kinesiology all from Auburn University.

Information for Applicants

Positions in our program are two-year appointments and are open to anyone with an interest in and a track record of aging research and at least two remaining years of T32 funding eligibility.

Applicants must be citizens of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence (green card holder). You must have a completed doctoral degree/terminal degree in your field when you join the program. All course work must be completed, and if applying as a PhD, final orals must be passed, and the dissertation signed before you can begin the program.

The Duke Aging Center is committed to promoting health equity and adding value to our community through diverse perspectives.  Scholars from traditionally marginalized backgrounds are encouraged to apply. 

Through its NIA-funded T32 (NIA T32AG000029), the Duke Aging Center offers 3 postdoctoral research training fellowship positions each academic year. Appointments are typically for a duration of two-years, pending availability of funding.

We are not currently accepting applications.

Step 1: Initial Proposal

The initial proposal should include the following in ONE PDF FILE, submitted VIA THIS LINK :

  1. 2-page statement of interest including: research focus, training goals, commitment to a career in aging research, statement of eligibility, and the name of a potential Duke mentor or mentor team for your postdoctoral training.  (See below for guidance on identifying a mentor)
  2. Your current CV (including anticipated date of degree completion or number of years of postdoctoral experience)

Step 2: Mentor Engagement 

Initial proposals will be reviewed by the Postdoctoral Research Training Program leadership. Viable proposals will be forwarded by the program to the potential mentor for review. With the approval of the mentor, the applicant will be invited to connect directly with the mentor to discuss the proposed research and training plan, and secure the mentor’s support for the application.

Step 3: Letters of Support/Recommendation

Invited applicants will be asked to submit a letter of support from their Duke mentor and at least one letter of recommendation from a previous mentor or faculty member from their terminal degree program.

Step 4: Final Review

Completed application packages (statement of interest, CV, mentor letter, and letter(s) of recommendation) will be presented to the program’s Internal Executive Committee.  Applicants may be invited to interview with their potential mentor and program leadership and/or submit graduate transcripts.

 

Basis for Judging Applications
Applications are assessed by a faculty committee via an NIH-style review and judged on the basis of their scientific merit, relevance to aging, and the fit of the trainee’s needs for training with the resources of the mentor and the training program.

Mentors should be regular rank faculty from Duke University and/or Duke University Medical Center. Each mentor must have evidence of a significant interest in aging/life course and a strong record of publication/funding in these areas.

The list below is only a partial roster of faculty available to serve as mentors for the Duke Aging Center’s T32. You can also explore the Center’s Senior Fellows Directory and the Scholars@Duke research directory.  (Note: On the Scholars@Duke page, find the box below EXPLORE, and enter key words from your research area. Be sure to include “aging” to receive the most applicable results.)

We encourage team mentorship, so feel free to propose 1-3 mentors to best suit your research interests and training goals.

You can click on each program faculty member’s name below to view their Scholars@Duke profile.

Behavioral Science
and Neuroscience:

Biomedical Sciences:

Social Sciences,
Health Services,
and Biostatistics:

Miles Berger, MD, PhD

Roberto Cabeza, Ph.D.

Avshalom Caspi, PhD

Katherine Hall, PhD

Scott Huettel, PhD

Terrie Moffitt PhD

Guy Potter, PhD

Gregory Samanez-Larkin, PhD

Ilene Siegler, Ph.D.

Jenny Tung, PhD

David J. Madden, Ph.D

Maria Marquine, PhD

David Rubin, Ph.D.

Kathleen A. Welsh-Bohmer, Ph.D.

Redford B. Williams, Jr., M.D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connie W. Bales, PhD

Harvey J. Cohen, M.D.

Cathleen Colon-Emeric, MD

Kim Huffman, MD, PhD

Kimberly S. Johnson, MD, MHS

Ravi Karra, MD, NMHS

Virginia Kraus, MD, PhD

William E. Kraus, M.D.

James O. McNamara, M.D.

Eleanor S. McConnell, Ph.D., R.N.

Miriam C. Morey, Ph.D.

Tolu Oyesanya, PhD, MS

Kenneth Poss, PhD

Sherri Smith, AuD, PhD

Kathryn Starr, MS, RD, PhD

Anthony Sung, MD

Dennis A. Turner, M.D., M.A.

Purtushiothama Rao Tata, PhD

Gregory Taylor, PhD

Heather Whitson, MD

Tyson Brown, PhD

Matthew Dupre, PhD

Nicki Hastings, MD

Harold G. Koenig, M.D.

Scott Lynch, PhD

Amy Pastva, PhD

Carl Pieper, DrPH

Duncan Thomas, PhD

Anatoliy I. Yashin, PhD, ScD

Leah Zullig, PhD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NIH/NIA Postdoctoral Stipend Levels for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021

Career Level

Years of Experience

Stipend for FY 2021

Monthly Stipend

Postdoctoral

0

$53,760

$4,480

 

1

$54,144

$4,512

 

2

$54,540

$4,545

 

3

$56,712

$4,726

 

4

$58,608

$4,884

 

5

$60,780

$5,065

 

6

$63,036

$5,253

 

7 or More

$65,292

$5,441

The program also provides health insurance for the fellow (using the University’s insurance plan), and partial travel support when you are presenting your research at a professional meeting. If the proposed research will require additional funding, this should be discussed with your mentor.

List of things that are good about Durham

 

Diversity and inclusion are not just academic buzzwords at Duke. They are an essential component of academic medicine, both to promote equity and fairness among our employees and trainees, and to fulfill the School of Medicine's mission for excellence in education, research, and clinical care.

https://medschool.duke.edu/about-us/diversity-and-inclusion

Sunrise over Duke Medicine Pavilion

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