Goals and Activities:
The primary goal of the Duke/UNC Research Education Component (REC) is to develop future leaders in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias (ADRD) research.
- The REC will broadly disseminate a foundational ADRD research curriculum spanning both basic and clinical research. This curriculum will then be delivered to five universities across North Carolina and made available to the public.
- The REC will solicit “REC Scholar” applications and select two to four scholars annually from a diverse pool of talented, early-career, ADRD investigators. We will provide the selected applicants with intensive research training and tailored professional development.
- The REC will diversify ADRD researcher perspectives and the ADRD workforce by partnering with UNC Pembroke, NC Central University, and East Carolina University to augment research at these sites and cultivate the multidisciplinary expertise needed in the next generation of ADRD research leaders.
See Figure 1 below for an overview.
The REC provides a research consultancy service, wherein “strike teams” of ADRC PIs from multiple disciplines will offer a biannual peer research consultation program to support students and faculty in their research endeavors. Investigators will submit a brief summary of a challenge they face in their ADRD research, and two or three ADRC-affiliated faculty will guide them in identifying approaches to address and overcome them, delivered in a 30-minute video conference format. The research consultancies will be coordinated by Kyle Walsh with tracking of quality and satisfaction provided by Ellen Roberts. If you are interested in participating in an ADRD Research Consultancy, please contact Jillian Hurst to coordinate scheduling.
The REC’s basic/translational monthly journal club discusses two thematically-paired ADRD research manuscripts – one from a basic-science perspective and another with a clinical focus. The journal club will provide a video call-in option for ADRD researchers across all five campuses. Please contact Dr. Kyle Walsh if you would like to be included on journal club invitations.
The CARiNG-StARR (Creating Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Researchers for the Next Generation – Stimulating Access to Research in Residency) Pathway supports protected time for residents to conduct research on issues related to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
The Division of Neuro-epidemiology, within Duke’s Department of Neurological Surgery, is directed by Kyle Walsh. In collaboration with the ADRC’s Data Management and Statistics Core, these teams are working to harmonize publicly-available ADRD genomic datasets for research purposes (e.g., those deposited in dbGaP). Analytic code and summary statistics (e.g., SNP-based association) are available to interested investigators, as is individual-level data (subject to IRB approval).
The UNC Center for Aging and Health provides the highest quality clinical care to older patients, connects families and caregivers with community resources, supports collaborative research in aging, and develops and trains a multidisciplinary workforce in the field of aging under the leadership of Dr. Jan Busby-Whitehead.
The UNC Pembroke Alzheimer’s Disease Research Lab conducts molecular biology research on ADRD under the direction of Dr. Ben Bahr. Investigators who are interested in integrative clinical/molecular ADRD research can be connected to Dr. Bahr and to Duke/UNC REC clinical investigators to advance their studies.
The Duke Institute for Brain Sciences (DIBS) serves as a hub for researchers representing multiple disciplines to catalyze innovative interdisciplinary neuroscience research. In addition to its research arm, the education arm of DIBS provides interdisciplinary education and professional development opportunities to trainees at all levels and is led by Dr. Leonard White.
Professor and Chief, Division of Geriatric Medicine, UNC
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Duke University