Mentoring Researchers in Aging in Vulnerable Populations

Investigator: Margot Kushel, MD
Sponsor: NIH National Institute on Aging

Location(s): United States


The aims of this proposal are to

1) develop the candidate's capacity for and expertise in serving as a mentor to junior investigators studying aging in vulnerable adults;

2) perform patient oriented research on the prevalence, risk factors for and consequences of geriatric conditions in older homeless adults;

3) perform patient oriented research on the management and consequences of limiting symptoms in older homeless adults and

4) use the candidate's research as a platform for mentoring junior investigators in aging in vulnerable populations.

The candidate, a General Internist who practices at an academic safety-net hospital, has established a high-impact, well-funded independent clinical research program with an outstanding publication record. In the 13 years since completing her General Internal Medicine fellowship, she has established herself as a successful mentor of trainees who have published high-impact research, become successfully funded, and continue to participate in patient-oriented research. The candidate has developed an extensive research portfolio focused on the health outcomes of vulnerable populations. As one of the first researchers to identify the aging of the homeless population, the candidate received R01 funding from the NIA to examine the interaction between life course events and the development of geriatric conditions in homeless adults aged 50 and older. Her work to date has influenced the development and expansion of key interventions to address the health of homeless populations, including supportive housing and respite care. This proposal will provide the candidate with protected time to increase her expertise, expand her mentoring program and develop new research focused on limiting symptoms in older homeless adults in order to guide the development of interventions to improve symptomatology and reduce reliance on the Emergency Department. In addition to gaining new expertise in aging research methods, the candidate will develop a formal mentoring program with plans for the recruitment, selection, development, and evaluation of mentees who will become leaders in patient-oriented research focused on aging vulnerable populations. She will work with each mentee to establish a focused career development plan in which they complete research projects and develop the skills needed to become independent investigators. These plans will make full use of the outstanding clinical research training environment at UCSF. She will leverage her leadership positions at UCSF to recruit more mentees interested in research on aging issues in vulnerable populations.