Dr. Daniella Chusyd from the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington has been selected to receive a 2018-2019 Postdoc Challenge award from the Indiana Clinical Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI). Her project is titled “Early life trauma and biological aging in a long-lived animal model” and focuses on the relationship between early life adversity and longevity using orphaned African elephants as a model organism.
The project seeks to uncover what factors impact the pace of aging and why some individuals are more susceptible to life-shortening morbidities than others. The study hopes to provide a better understanding of the biological responses to childhood adversity and the identification of critical periods, thereby allowing those most susceptible to morbidity risk to receive a more successful and timely intervention.
An interdisciplinary team of aging researchers, endocrinologists, elephant biologists, and statisticians has been assembled to conduct the study. The award is a one-year grant for $5000 to use for services provided by the CISAB Mechanisms of Behavior Core Laboratory and Biostatistics Consulting Center.
In total, seven postdoctoral researchers at Indiana University, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame have been awarded grants from the CTSI to support their biomedical research projects. Postdoc Challenge grants are awarded for projects that use Indiana CTSI Core Facilities to translate lab research into human patient treatment through the development of clinical trials and studies or research aimed at enhancing the adoption of best practices.
The Indiana CTSI is a National Institutes of Health-funded collaboration of IU, Purdue, Notre Dame, and public and private partnerships that aims to improve the health of people in Indiana and beyond.