Postdoctoral training in aging research
An opportunity to put yourself at the forefront of the field.
Postdoctoral Fellow programs
At the Buck Institute, you will find a place to thrive through daily collaboration with the top scientists in the field. The Buck Institute currently administers three programs that help provide funding for Buck postdocs and their projects: The Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, an NIH-sponsored postdoctoral research training program in basic aging research and age-related disease, and the Valley Foundation Fellowship. These programs, available to US citizens and permanent residents only, provide postdoctoral fellows with stipends to work in any of the laboratories at the Buck Institute and selected laboratories at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Stanford University, and University of California at Berkeley.
There are three programs that help provide funding for Buck postdocs and their projects.
The Glenn Foundation for Medical Research partners with the Buck Institute to provide project-based Research Training Fellowships. Projects are chosen for funding by a Faculty steering committee. . Glenn Fellows work under the supervision of a faculty mentor and receive a stipend (based on NIH recommended levels), training, professional development, and mentorship during their appointment, which lasts for up to three years.
The Buck Institute administers an NIH-sponsored postdoctoral research training program in basic aging research and age-related disease. The program provides postdoctoral fellows with stipends to work in any of the laboratories at the Buck Institute, and selected laboratories at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Stanford University and the University of California in Berkeley.
The Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation Fellowship is an innovative new career-development award that will support ‘rising star’ junior scientists at the Buck Institute in developing their own scientific research program, and preparing them to pursue independent careers in the aging research field.
Glenn Foundation Fellowship
Since its founding in 1965 the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research has supported basic research to better understand the biology that governs normal human aging and its related physiological decline, with the objective of developing interventions that will extend the healthy years of human life. The Buck Institute and the Foundation have partnered to co-fund 8 postdoctoral fellowship projects with the objectives of training and preparing future leading researchers and in discovering the mechanisms of aging and its relationship to the chronic conditions of aging.
The Glenn Medical Foundation co-sponsored the 30th anniversary of the biology of aging research symposium and continues to sponsor the Bay Area Aging Meeting (BAAM) and the Gordon Research Conference on the Biology of Aging
Eric Verdin, MD – Program Director
Malene Hansen, PhD – Associate Director & Chair
Gordon Lithgow, PhD – Committee Member
Jennifer Garrison, PhD – Committee Member
Juniper Pennypacker – Glenn Program Coordinator
Fellowship projects are renewed annually for a maximum of three years. Stipends are commensurate with experience and follow NIH recommended postdoctoral stipend levels. Trainees will gain knowledge in the mechanisms of biological aging and its relationship to chronic disease. Trainees will gain skills in critical thinking to evaluate new research findings. In addition, trainees will receive instruction in written and verbal skills that enrich their publications, grant proposals, and oral presentations. Ongoing seminar series, basic science and clinical lectures, well-organized journal clubs, and research meetings will provide up-to-date information and intellectual cross-fertilization that can lead to the next wave of major discoveries in the field.
Our program leans on the ‘Seven Pillars of Aging’ identified by the NIH Geroscience Initiative: Metabolism, Macromolecular Damage, Epigenetics, Inflammation, Adaptation to Stress, Proteostasis, and Stem cells and Regeneration. In addition to the seven pillars of aging, another perhaps more important concept in aging research has emerged. It is now becoming clear that the mechanisms driving aging are inter-connected. For instance, macromolecular damage can lead to cellular senescence, promoting localized inflammation. It is thus not only important to identify and elaborate the pillars of aging themselves, but it is critical to understand how they are connected and what the earliest triggers of the aging process are. Given our focus on geroscience and our collaborative nature, the Buck Institute is in an ideal position to understand how aging pathways are related and to begin to establish a systems level understanding of aging.
The major goal of this program is to encourage and support new activities at the Institute that will build on existing expertise, but aim at identifying and exploiting synergies with the promise of major breakthroughs in geroscience. Such breakthroughs will range from the conceptual to the translational: developing a deeper understanding of the aging process, identifying new targets for possible interventions, and developing and testing intervention strategies. The program is thus directly geared towards the initiation of new activities between multiple laboratories with promise to make a real impact in geroscience.
Fellows will serve a period of two to three years each depending on the project requirements. Projects by Postdoctoral Fellows must have the following components:
- A novel project that addresses connectivity between at least two of the pillars of aging.
- Collaborative science with a primary mentor and a co-mentor having expertise in two areas of aging.
- Projects of two-year duration, with a third year subject to demonstration of significant progress.
- Proposals reviewed by an internal panel of investigators at the Buck Institute and with involvement of the Glenn Foundation, if desired.
- Emphasis on the development of translational approaches to extend human healthspan will be viewed favorably, subject to compliance with other requirements.
Project 1: Dysregulation of epigenetic landscape by APOE disrupts cellular homeostasis
Cristian Geronimo-Olivera, Postdoctoral Researcher (Mentors: Dr. Ellerby and Dr. Campisi)
Project 2: The role of DOR in ovarian senescence and its impact on aging in flies and mice
Vikram Narayan, Postdoctoral Researcher (Mentors: Dr. Kapahi and Dr. Campisi)
Project 3: How sex hormones influence neural circuits for fluid homeostasis during aging
Heeun Jang, Postdoctoral Researcher (Mentors: Dr. Garrison and Dr. Newman)
Project 4: Multi-omics Analyses to Develop Exosome Biomarkers of Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease
Sandip Kuma Patel, Postdoctoral Researcher (Mentors: Dr. Schilling and Dr. Campisi)
Project 5: Secretion of autophagy-related factors: Role in aging and aging-associated diseases
Hiroshi Ebata, Postdoctoral Researcher (Mentors: Dr. Hansen and Dr. Schilling)
- Applicants must have a doctoral degree by the date of award activation;
- Must have a Buck Institute Faculty Sponsor;
- The applicant should design an innovative and significant project;
- Should demonstrate significant potential and propose to undertake one or more innovative, original and independent research projects;
- Should be able to demonstrate significant scientific productivity in the form of publications in peer-reviewed journals;
- Willingness to contribute to the aims and vision of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and to collaborate with existing members of the Institute is also essential.
Openings will be announced as they occur.
NIH Training Grant T32 AG000266
Training in basic research on aging and age-related disease
The current and future increase in the aged population will require extensive research to understand the underlying mechanisms responsible for age-related diseases and aging. It is, therefore, important to train young scientists in modern research disciplines that will promote excellent basic and translational aging research that will enhance the development of novel therapeutics to improve health in the aging population. Understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for aging and age-related diseases requires knowledge and experience in the design of optimum research strategies and state-of-the-art integrated and interdisciplinary research approaches. This training program provides postdoctoral fellows with advanced research training in modern disciplines, including functional genomics, epigenomics, proteomics, molecular biology, cell biology, bioenergetics, chemical screening, microanatomy and powerful cellular and animal models.
The proposed training for fellows at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley provides unique faculty expertise.
Trainees will gain knowledge in basic aging mechanisms, and age-related diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, cancer, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, sarcopenia and others. Trainees will gain skills in critical thinking to evaluate new research findings. In addition, trainees will receive instruction in written and verbal skills to enrich their publications, grant proposals, and oral presentations. Ongoing seminar series, basic science and clinical lectures, well-organized journal clubs, and research meetings will provide up-to-date information and intellectual cross-fertilization.
The primary home of the training program is the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, located in Novato, California. Postdoctoral trainees may work under the primary supervision of any Buck Institute faculty or selected faculty at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Stanford University or the University of California in Berkeley (UCB). The research will be conducted at the location of the primary preceptor. Please see the list below for eligible preceptors and apply directly to the preceptor.
Applicants should select a preceptor from the list below:
|Andersen, J||Professor||Buck Instituteemail@example.com|
|Artandi, S||Professor||Stanford Universityfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Benz, C||Professor||Buck Instituteemail@example.com|
|Blau, H||Professor||Stanford Universityfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Brand, M||Professor||Buck Instituteemail@example.com|
|Brem, R||Associate Professor||Buck Institutefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Brunet, A||Professor||Stanford Universityemail@example.com|
|Campisi, J||Professor||Buck Institutefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Chang, H||Professor||Stanford Universityemail@example.com|
|Chen, D||Associate Professor||UCBfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Chua, K||Associate Professor||Stanford Universityemail@example.com|
|Conboy, I||Associate Professor||UCBfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ellerby, L||Professor||Buck Instituteemail@example.com|
|Frydman, J||Professor||Stanford Universityfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Garrison, J||Assistant Professor||Buck Instituteemail@example.com|
|Haghighi, P||Professor||Buck Institutefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Huang, T||Associate Professor||Stanford Universityemail@example.com|
|Kapahi, P||Professor||Buck Institutefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Kennedy, B||Professor||Buck Instituteemail@example.com|
|Lamba, D||Associate Professor||Buck Institutefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Lithgow, G||Professor||Buck Instituteemail@example.com|
|Melov, S||Professor||Buck Institutefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ramanathan, A||Assistant Professor||Buck Instituteemail@example.com|
|Rando, T||Professor||Stanford Universityfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Schilling, B||Research Associate Professor||Buck Instituteemail@example.com|
|Verdin, E||Professor||Buck Institutefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Wyss-Coray, T||Professor||Stanford Universityemail@example.com|
|Zeng, X||Professor||Buck Institutefirstname.lastname@example.org|
TO APPLY FOR A POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING SLOT
Individuals wishing to apply for a position on this training grant should contact a preceptor on the list — send the preceptor a CV, cover letter, and a list of three references. Either the preceptor or the trainee may select a second preceptor for joint training. The primary preceptor will then submit an application to the Training Program.
SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES WILL BE CHOSEN ON THE BASIS OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
- Quality as determined by publications, awards and recommendations, commitment to a career in basic or translational aging and/or age-related disease research, and relevance of the training project to aging or age-related disease.
- Collaborative projects between one or more preceptors, particularly inter-institutional projects, will be given special consideration.
- As required by NIH, trainees must be US citizens or permanent residents. Please verify.
Valley Foundation Fellowship
for Emerging Young Geroscientists
$3M over 6 years – 6 Fellows
2 Fellows selected for a 2-year fellowship experience
Application for Valley Foundation Fellowship Award – March 2023
The Valley Foundation Fellowship is an innovative new career-development award that will support ‘rising star’ junior scientists at the Buck Institute in developing their own scientific research program, and preparing them to pursue independent careers in the aging research field.
A Valley Foundation Fellowship Award is for two years and enables the following benefits to the awardee:
- Promotion to Research Scientist position upon award of a Valley Foundation Fellowship.
- Allocation of independent research budget: $20,000 per year in direct costs for innovative and impactful scientific research.
- Access to a mentoring committee that meets with the fellowship awardees twice a year assessing progress.
- Financial support to participate in leadership development, grant-writing (including navigating NIH and other funding opportunities), and lab-management training.
The applicant is required to hold a PhD, and to show excellent scientific merit, leadership qualities, and ambitions to secure an independent faculty position in the future, following the Valley Foundation Fellowship Award. Furthermore, the applicant is currently employed at the Buck Institute and is a:
Postdoctoral Researcher with at least three full years of postdoctoral experience at the time of application; or
Research Scientist or Staff Scientist, who is interested in a path to scientific independence.
Moreover, these additional criteria apply:
- The applicant is required to demonstrate a specific/novel impact to the field of aging research, and strong potential to become an independent researcher.
- The applicant should show a strong prior record of scientific productivity, and to exhibit strong potential for leadership qualities in respect to scientific impact, scientific networking, and mentorship capabilities.
- The applicant’s mentor is required to commit to support the candidate on their path to become an independent researcher by endorsing the promotion of the applicant to Research Scientist as part of receiving and implementing the Valley Foundation Fellowship Award. Final promotion decisions will follow institute procedure and will be made by CSO, VP of Academics, and a faculty from the Committee of Appointments and Promotions.
The following documents need to be included as part of the application submission:
- Check list (provided as separate word document)
- NIH Biosketches from applicant and mentor/co-mentor(s)
- The application package, consisting of:
- Two-page Candidate Career Development Plan, including planned new scientific skills, vision for future scientific independence and impact, planned activities to develop career skills and mentoring capabilities, and relevance of the award for the future career. The candidate should highlight a clear path to scientific independence.
- Two-page Research Plan (allowing for one extra page of figures and references) demonstrating innovative aging research and/or research on age-related diseases. Impact to the field of aging research should be clearly stated.
- List of suggested members for a mentoring committee with short justification for these members and their anticipated contributions (e.g., mentoring, advice for new skill sets/technologies). Please consider one member to be represented from the Buck Institute leadership (e.g., CEO, CSO, VP Academic Affairs etc.) for additional insights into academic organizations and guidance.
- Short (maximum half a page) diversity statement from the candidate.
- List of reference letter writers including names, affiliation, position/title and email information.
- Two-page Commitment letter from the Mentor/Co-Mentor(s) highlighting prior productivity, scientific excellence, and leadership qualities of the candidate. The mentor letter needs to include a clear statement that upon successful funding of a candidate, the mentor will support internal promotion of the candidate to Research Scientist with the following salary distribution:
- For Postdoctoral Researchers who are promoted to Research Scientist the salary will be in accordance with the base salary of $80,000 plus fringe (obtained from the Valley Foundation).
- If the candidate already earns >$80,000 there will be a 5% merit increase on their current salary. In this case, the Valley Foundation will pay $80,000 plus fringe – the difference will be supported by the mentor (the latter should be stated in the mentor letter).
- Three to five reference letters that should be emailed directly to Alyssa West by April 28, 2023 (email: email@example.com), noting the applicant’s name and Valley Foundation in the subject line. Two of the reference letters need to be from an external (non-Buck affiliated) referee.
All application materials should be submitted as one pdf file to Alyssa West (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) by April 28, 2023 – 5 pm PST. Reference Letters need to also be received by April 28, 2023 – 5 pm PST
For any questions, please contact the chair of the Valley Foundation Fellowship Committee (Dr. Birgit Schilling, email: email@example.com).
- Five voting members (chair, three Buck Faculty members, one external member)
- Chair: Birgit Schilling, PhD (Professor)
- Members: Malene Hansen, PhD (Professor, Chief Scientific Officer); Gordon Lithgow, PhD (Professor, Vice President for Academic Affairs); Buck Institute Faculty Member (to be determined)
- External Member: Faculty at US academic institution to be determined (will remain anonymous)
- Coordinator: Brian van Weele (Chief Philanthropic Officer), non-voting
- Review process: Each application will be scored by at least three reviewers, and will subsequently be reviewed during a ‘study section’ meeting with all members of the review committee. Together with the coordinator, the final Valley Foundation Fellowship Awardees will be determined.
Note: While this scenario will generally be avoided (as is the case for the 2023 round), in case a mentor of an applicant is a committee member or chair, that mentor will excuse themselves from the evaluation of the applicant. The chair and committee members will serve for to two (max. three) rounds, and thus committee members will cycle. CSO, VP Academic Affairs and Chief Philanthropic Officer will identify new committee members, when needed.
- Launch and call for applications on March 10, 2023
- Call for applications closes on April 28, 2023
- Committee review meeting on May 25/26, 2023
- Contact of two awardees on May 30, 2023
- Announcement of two awardees on June 1, 2023
- Start of two Valley Foundation Fellowships on July 1, 2023
- Next round of applications is expected in the Spring of 2025
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Living Better Longer Together
Buck Institute for Research on Aging is an equal opportunity employer. Buck Institute seeks candidates whose experience and qualifications will enable them to contribute to our dedication to diversity and excellence. We are committed to building an organization that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives and skills. We welcome the unique contributions that you can bring in terms of education, opinions, culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation and beliefs.
We look forward to getting to know you!