The Center for Aging in Diverse Communities (CADC) was established at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 1997. CADC was one of six Centers funded by the Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) program by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). CADC was renewed twice in 2002 and in 2007 to continue the work over the past 14 years. CADC has expanded the strong research foundation for scholarship on health disparities at UCSF and is housed within the Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations (MERC) established in 1993. CADC has become an integral component at UCSF under the MERC umbrella in supporting the development of minority investigators and in conducting research on minority aging to address health disparities. CADC supports minority-aging research by expanding human resource capacity through funding and mentoring diverse investigators to conduct social, behavioral, epidemiological, clinical, translational, and policy research. CADC is a catalyst for investigators conducting research in underserved minority populations from multiple disciplines at UCSF and associated research groups, in addition, CADC has attracted minority trainees and successfully developed investigators with interests in research careers focused on minority aging populations. The proposed competitive renewal for CADC under the RCMAR program has its foundation in strong minority leadership, in the network of investigators from multiple disciplines with nearly 20 years of collaboration, and in the track record of mentoring minority postdoctoral trainees and assistant professors in establishing research careers in health disparities and minority aging. Furthermore, we continue to sustain and expand partnerships with diverse communities of color in the San Francisco Bay Area that consolidate mutual trust and respect between community-based organizations and UCSF. The Investigator Development Core of the CADC will have three major components: 1) selection of minority scholars for pilot study funding;2) support of the scholars through the Analysis and Community Liaison Cores to facilitate completion of the study and publication of their results;and, 3) continual mentoring of the scholars to the successful submission and funding of a faculty development and/or independent investigator research award. We will fund minority investigators to conduct pilot studies to investigate aging topics in African American, Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander populations. The pilot studies funded by CADC will be led by assistant professors or post-doctoral fellows and mentored by the core CADC faculty and their established content or discipline mentor. We will use our track record of collaboration to seek support from selected aging-focused mentors at UCSF. The CADC faculty has expertise in clinical medicine, psychology, social epidemiology, population science, research methodology and statistics. For the proposed cycle, CADC capacities are enhanced with the addition of a cognitive neuroscientist and a health economist. We will set general guidelines in the request for applications for pilot studies to include an emphasis on studies that use available secondary datasets to evaluate determinants of health disparities and develop pilot interventions to reduce these disparities. We will be especially interested in proposals that address common clinical problems such as cognitive impairment, patient-clinician communication, and prevention of chronic diseases. Finally, we will formalize and strengthen the Continual Mentoring Activity within CADC by sustaining support for scholars to their completion of a faculty development or independent investigator research award and maintaining a network of CADC Scholars.
Our Specific Aims for this Core are as follows. 1. To select a minimum of three minority investigators per year to conduct pilot studies focused on minority aging issues such as promotion of healthy aging, chronic disease prevention, dementia and cognition, and measurement issues among diverse older populations, to identify determinants of health and health care disparities that can lead to effective interventions to reduce these disparities. 2. To assist and mentor the CADC scholars in conducting their pilot studies by engaging the Analysis Core to provide support on methodological issues and the Community Liaison Core to support recruitment of diverse participants and dissemination of research findings. 3. To sustain Continuing Mentoring Activity for all CADC scholars to complete their pilot study, publish their results, identify the appropriate next step in career development, and support their submission and funding of a faculty development or an independent investigator research award to the NIA/NIH based on the data collected in the CADC funded pilot study.
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