CENTER ON AGING

By Mark Supiano, M.D., professor and chief, Division of Geriatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine and executive director, University of Utah Center on Aging and Heather Podolan, administrative program coordinator, University of Utah Division of Geriatrics Center on Aging

About the Center on Aging

Beginning with its origination in 1972, the Center on Aging has provided inter-professional educational and research programs in gerontology at the University of Utah. It became a free-standing center in 2005 to expand the scope of its service and research activities and allow it to become more comprehensive and better able to fulfill its interdisciplinary mission and objectives. Dr. Mark Supiano has served as its executive director since 2005.

This article provides several updates regarding the aging research infrastructure supported by the center’s activities.

Center on Aging Pilot Grant program

The goals of the pilot grant program are to promote the development of externally funded aging research, encourage new investigator development, attract established investigators to aging research and stimulate interdisciplinary research collaborations. Since its inception in 2006, 39 grants have been awarded and 15 new external grants have awarded to investigators based on preliminary results derived from their pilot grants.

The Center on Aging is pleased to announce the call for proposals for its 2016 pilot grant program. The application deadline is March 18, 2016.  The center seeks high quality applications representing the full spectrum of its disciplinary backgrounds. Applications will be reviewed in two tracks: Those related to biological and health sciences and to behavioral science, social science and policy.

Annual Research Retreat

The center’s research retreat brings its faculty and trainees together for a poster session and research symposium. This year’s, the 10th annual symposium, on April 14-15, will focus on Long Term Care Policy and Practice. Dr. Lewis Lipsitz from Harvard University will provide its keynote presentation at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 15, in the Eccles Genetics Building Auditorium.

The call for research posters is now out. The Poster Session will be held on Thursday, April 14, 2016, from 3-6 p.m. in the atrium of University Park Marriott Hotel at 480 Wakara Way. The poster submission deadline is Wednesday, March 9. All Center on Aging members, affiliates and their trainees are encouraged to present a poster.  Download the poster submission instruction PDF here.

Research Participant Registry

These photos are from the 2015 Research Retreat that focused on frailty and featured a keynote address by Dr. Kenneth Rockwood.

These photos are from the 2015 Research Retreat that focused on frailty and featured a keynote address by Dr. Kenneth Rockwood.

An important part of the center’s mission is to promote interdisciplinary research to help people lead longer and more fulfilling lives. To accomplish this mission, center faculty who are conducting patient-oriented aging research often need to contact individuals of all ages who may be interested in participating in aging-related research and determine if they qualify to enter their research studies.

The primary goal of the Center on Aging’s Research Participant Registry is to link people in the community, who would like to participate in research, to aging-related studies at the University of Utah. Researchers conducting patient-oriented aging research may wish to contact individuals of all ages who may be interested in participating in aging-related research and determine if they qualify to enter their research studies. The registry is a process for matching people to these research projects.

The Research Participant Registry is a partnership between the Center on Aging, the Resource for Genetic and Epidemiologic Research (RGE), the Utah Population Database (UPDB), and the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS). Individuals from the UPDB are contacted by the RGE and invited to become members of the RPR. Respondents sign a consent form and are sent a medical questionnaire survey to complete that provides information about their health history, functional status, current medications and other factors that might inform investigators about the type of study the participant would be interested in hearing about. The survey information is entered into the CCTS Red-cap server such that this information may be queried by CoA administrative staff. Investigators then submit requests to identify subjects in the RPR who may qualify for their IRB-approved study.  The intent is to provide CoA investigators with a pool of potential research subjects whom they may contact who are pre-screened to be likely to meet the study’s entry criteria. More than 200 subjects have been enrolled in the registry to date. Our goal is to exceed 1,000 subjects enrolled in the next 12 months.

How to become a member

Please visit aging.utah.edu/membership/join.php  to learn how you can join the more than 160 faculty members of the Center on Aging. Membership and active participation helps accomplish our objective of expanding the visibility of aging research and growth across the University of Utah.

Please visit the Center on Aging’s website for additional information.