Aging research to receive $23M in funding from NIA

Two centers and 11 projects studying ways to improve cognition, decision-making, mobility and the independence of older people are expected to receive more than $23 million in funding over five years from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it was announced today. The NIA is part of the National Institutes of Health.

The funding supports 11 existing Edward R. Roybal Centers for Research on Applied Gerontology, which were authorized by Congress in 1993 and named for former House Select Committee on Aging Chair Edward R. Roybal.

The 11 centers, their principal investigators and research focus:

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham, Roybal Center for Translational Research on Aging and Mobility, Karlene K. Ball, PhD. This center supports research evaluating the effect of visual, physical, cognitive, educational and social interventions to prevent or delay declines in mobility, independence and quality of life that often accompany aging.
  • Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York City, Cornell Roybal Center-The Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life, M. Carrington Reid, MD, PhD. The center conducts research to translate the findings of behavior change science into novel interventions for older adults with pain.
  • National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Mass., Behavior Change in Health and Saving, David Laibson, PhD. The center extends research on behavioral economics and successful financial decision making to choices about health behavior and the development of new interventions that improve health outcomes and financial well-being while reducing costs.
  • Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Ore., Roybal Center for Translational Research on Aging, Jeffrey A. Kaye, MD. The center focuses on identifying technologies to help meet two critical challenges of aging: loss of mobility and decline in cognitive function. The center develops independent living technologies, supports aging-in-place research and pursues partnerships with industry and academia.
  • Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Princeton Center for Translational Research on Aging, Janet M. Currie, PhD. This center is developing new methods to measure well-being to understand and document the experience of aging comparatively in the United States and in other countries. The measures are being used to analyze how different life circumstances and situations contribute to overall quality of life across the lifespan.
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion and Translation, Susan L. Hughes, DSW. This center tests, builds and disseminates health promotion programs that may help older adults prevent disability and maintain their independence in the community.
  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Penn Roybal Center on Behavioral Economics and Health, Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD. The center conducts studies that foster the translation of approaches from behavioral economics to the improvement of healthcare behaviors and healthcare delivery for older adults.
  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Roybal Center for Health Decision Making and Financial Independence in Old Age, Arie Kapteyn, PhD. This center seeks to understand how people reach decisions about issues affecting their economic and health status in old age and to inform how interventions can educate or help people align decisions with their long-term objectives. This center is funded in part by the Social Security Administration.
  • University of Southern California, Roybal Center for Health Policy Simulation, Dana P. Goldman, PhD. The goal of this center is to develop better models to understand the consequences of biomedical developments and social forces for health, health spending and healthcare delivery.
  • University of Washington, Seattle, Northwest Roybal Center, Linda Teri, PhD. This center seeks to improve the health and well-being of older adults with cognitive impairment and their caregivers.
  • Yale University, New Haven, Conn., Center for Study of Networks and Well-Being, Nicholas Christakis, MD, PhD. This center focuses on the social network underpinnings of selected health problems affecting older people in the United States today, such as obesity and cancer.

The funding announced today also supports the designation of two new centers that have served as new models for moving social and behavioral research findings out of the laboratory and into programs and practices that can be applied every day to improve the health and well-being of older people. The centers, their principal investigators and research focus:

  • Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass., Boston Royal Center, Margie E. Lachman, PhD. This center will develop and test interventions to increase and sustain an active lifestyle to promote health and well-being, especially among those populations at risk for poor health outcomes.
  • Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Roybal Center, David L. Roth, PhD. The center will conduct research on the informal support resources of vulnerable older adult populations, focusing on the transition of healthcare services from traditional institutions such as nursing homes to home- and community-based models, which include key family members and caregivers.

This new round of support for translational centers is expected to total more than $23.4 million over the next five years, pending available funds.

Source: NIH press release

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