Basic and Translational Research Training

T32 Training Program

The goal of the Pitt Integrated Clinical and Geroscience Research Training Program T32 is to produce a new generation of investigators with a background in collaborative clinical, translational and the biology of aging methodology who have the enthusiastic commitment, knowledge and skills to succeed in a career in integrated clinical and geroscience research. Our program is one of only a few in the nation that focuses on individuals who will be trained in an environment that integrates a clinical and biological perspective. The University of Pittsburgh offers an outstanding milieu for this training, with exceptional depth and breadth of multidisciplinary aging research; experienced, involved and well-funded mentors and extensive resources for training in clinical, translational and biology of aging research. The comprehensive training program is built on a well-defined structure with five main areas of competence:

    1. Core competency in clinical, translational and biology of aging research methods
    2. Collaborative team mentoring techniques and methodology
    3. Professional skills
    4. Topical expertise
    5. Responsible conduct of research.

To achieve competence in these areas we employ the following training strategies:

    1. An individual career plan
    2. Formal didactics
    3. Seminars and workshops
    4. An individualized, integrated mentoring team including clinical and basic scientists
    5. Scheduled oversight and mutual feedback.

The training program focuses on two levels of trainees;

    1. A 2-3 year postdoctoral program for physician investigators and postdoctoral fellows,
    2. A 2-year predoctoral MD/PhD training program for medical students that is integrated into the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program.

VA Special Fellowship in Advanced Geriatrics

The Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System offers a two-year Special Fellowship Program in Advanced Geriatrics (SFPAG) designed to foster the development of leadership in health care issues of the elderly.  The overall goal of the SFPAG is to produce interdisciplinary clinician investigators who will advance the VA mission by contributing to and acting on new knowledge about the health and health care of older veterans.  Fellows will undertake a vigorous, individualized two-year training program in one of three areas of aging research: health services, clinical/rehabilitation, or translational/bench-to-bedside inquiry.

After completion of the SFPAG, participants will not only have gained expertise in an area of aging research but will also be familiar with the mission and operations of the VA, understand general principles of aging and geriatrics, be capable of serving as educators and health care team members in areas relevant to their research expertise, and have the basic tools to become role models and leaders.  Competencies gained by fellows include general research methodological skills, content expertise, knowledge and commitment to VA, teaching and clinical skills related to geriatric issues, teamwork, patient safety and quality improvement methods, written and oral communications skills, and leadership and project management skills.

Fellows may be either post residency physicians or from an associated health discipline.  This program does not lead to board-eligibility in Geriatrics for physicians.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Read more about the VA’s Advanced Fellowship Programs in Geriatrics here. For more information about the program, eligibility or how to apply, contact Dawn M. Fuhrer, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System GRECC Administrative Officer, at

VA Fellowship in Medication Safety and Pharmacy Outcomes

Partnered with the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) and VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services (PBM), this two-year fellowship in prepares doctoral level pharmacists to become (1) independent practitioners with expertise in geriatrics and medication safety and (2) independent investigators with expertise in geriatric pharmacoepidemiology, outcomes research, and systematic quality improvement that contributes to quality, safety, effectiveness and value of medication therapy. Read more about the fellowship here.

Focus Areas
• Geriatric pharmacovigilance
• Geriatric pharmacoepidemiology
• Medication safety
• Dual use of pharmacy benefits across health systems

• US Citizen
• PharmD
• Interest in the application of both geriatric clinical and research pharmacy practice
• Commitment to improve medication safety within and beyond the VA Healthcare System

Carolyn Thorpe, PhD, MPH
Fran Cunningham, PharmD
Jennifer Pruskowski, PharmD, MS

Contact Us

For questions about any of our T32 training programs, please contact:

Janelle Christensen
Project Manager

Phone: (412) 692-2843

Contact Us

Division of Geriatric Medicine
Academic Administrative Office

Kaufmann Medical Building, Suite 500
3471 Fifth Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Email Us

Benedum Geriatric Center

Senior Care Institute

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