This application is for a K24 Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research to promote mentoring and career development in community-academic partnered research that improves the quality of life of low income and minority seniors. Dr. Catherine Sarkisian, PI of the proposed award, is a geriatrician and scientist committed to working to improve the quality of life of low-income ethnically diverse older adults. For over 12 years she has conducted empiric patient-oriented community-partnered research studies focused on increasing successful aging among vulnerable seniors. She has built strong relationships with a vast network of community partners in the local and national aging services network, and in 2010 launched the Los Angeles Community-Academic Partnership for Research in Aging (L.A. CAPRA) Center - a partnership between UCLA Division of Geriatrics and the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging. The mission of the L.A. CAPRA Center is to facilitate and implement community-partnered research that leads to meaningful health outcomes and improves the quality of life of lower income seniors across the largest and (arguably) most ethnically diverse city in the United States. Now that the original NIA grant for L.A. CAPRA Center is ending, this virtual center is thriving as Dr. Sarkisian and several of her colleagues are currently using the L.A. CAPRA Center infrastructure to support community- partnered aging research, including an NIH-funded study Dr. Sarkisian is leading implementing and testing an intervention to decrease stroke risk and increase physical activity in 4 different racial/ethnic groups of older adults (African-Americans, Chinese-Americans, Korean Americans and Latinos). Currently there are no NIA K24 awards devoted to community-partnered research or research focused on minority seniors. To fill this gap, Dr. Sarkisian seeks support from an NIA K24 award in order to: 1) solidify a program of patient-oriented community-partnered research that utilizes the L.A. CAPRA Center infrastructure to implement and rigorously evaluate sustainable programs that improve quality of life of lower income ethnically diverse seniors and that can be disseminated though the national aging services network;and 2) gain advanced skills in implementation science that will facilitate the impact of Dr. Sarkisian's research career;3) mentor a cadre of research fellows and junior faculty who will become the next generation of translational researchers in aging. Dr. Sarkisian has a substantial and growing track record of mentorship;the requested K24 support would allow her to free herself from current clinical responsibilities so that she can focus 75% of her time completely on research and mentoring.
/Relevance to Public Health Unfortunately most research findings are never translated into community settings. By solidifying a program of patient-oriented community-partnered research in aging, this application addresses a critical need for: 1) identifying and rigorously evaluating sustainable programs that will improve the quality of life of lower income and minority seniors and that can be disseminated broadly through the aging services network;2) mentoring and supporting the next generation of translational scientists in aging.
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