The "Research Training Program in Gerontology, Exercise Physiology and Nutrition" at University of 'Maryland is mentor based in an academic environment with an interdisciplinary faculty and strong curricula to teach trainees the skills to become independent investigators in exercise physiology, nutrition rehabilitation and metabolism research in aging. The training faculty are experienced, well-funded investigators from the Departments of Medicine, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences and Neurology studying the effects of exercise rehabilitation and body composition on muscle and fat metabolism, whole body physiology and ambulatory/mobility function in the elderly. The aims are to mentor our trainees with an in-depth laboratory research and classroom training experience in the principles of clinical and basic laboratory investigation and biostatistics to study the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes risk factors, and the effects of exercise training, rehabilitation and dietary modification on metabolism, mobility and body composition in older people. The goal is that by completion of their research training experience, these young investigators will have the expertise and skills to perform independent clinical and/or basic research in exercise physiology, nutrition, metabolism and rehabilitation research in aging.
The major strengths of this training program are a well-funded faculty with outstanding mentioning experience, strong collaboration and interactions in aging research, available grants to fund trainees to conduct interdisciplinary research, comprehensive didactic curriculum for training, and well-equipped laboratories. The training program includes coursework, weekly seminars, research seminars, journal clubs, and training in the ethical conduct of research. The Program Directors receive guidance in program administration from a research Training Advisory Committee of senior faculty. Facilities include well-equipped human exercise physiology laboratories, exercise training facilities, and clinical and laboratory space for the conduct of clinical investigation and basic biomedical research. Trainees have access to excellent libraries, computers, audiovisual equipment and an extensive curriculum of required courses to supplement their research training in gerontology, exercise physiology, rehabilitation, nutrition and metabolism research. We are confident that this environment will prepare trainees for academic careers to study the mechanisms by which health promotion, disease prevention and rehabilitative health care strategies through exercise and nutritional interventions will improve the health of the elderly by reducing their risk factors for CVD and improving their functional capacity and quality of life.