This application proposes the renewal of an NIA Edward R. Roybal Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The theme of the current Center is "Translational Research on Aging and Mobility." With respect to the Thematic Areas of Focus for our renewal application, we propose to continue to investigate Mechanisms of Behavior Change related to decision-making, cognition, motivation, positive health behaviors, and well-being. We will also continue to develop and evaluate novel interventions exploiting the malleability or plasticity of biobehavioral risk mechanisms associated with adverse aging outcomes. We will also develop and evaluate novel methods for analyzing programs affecting older populations and novel programs or practices at homes, workplaces, or firms benefitting older people. These themes are illustrated in ongoing Center projects and proposed pilot projects. Our ultimate goal for the UAB Roybal Center is to benefit the lives of older people by improving physical, cognitive and visual function in order to enhance quality of life, increased productivity, and minimize the need for care. The Center continuation proposes two cores, each designed to enhance the research infrastructure necessary to accomplish the objectives of the Center, and to promote translational research in the many affiliated Center projects. The proposed Center will consist of a management core, which will provide data management and biostatistical services, technical support, access to a recruitment database, access to assessment tools for use in Center research, access to a driving simulator facility, and a driving assessment clinic. The Management Core will also facilitate collaborations among researchers and commercial interests, and insure that new findings of the Center are communicated to the scientific community, health care professionals, government policy makers, and the public. A pilot grant core will foster the development of new ideas and interventions of benefit to older adults. The overall goal is to systematically evaluate and translate research into products, procedures, and policies that impact the day-to-day functioning of older adults, extending this work to the prevention of functional decline (with middle-aged adults), both at home and in the workplace.
The UAB Roybal Center provides the research infrastructure to facilitate the development of new products and technologies to enhance the day-to-day functioning of older adults through enhanced physical, cognitive, and sensory function which leads to enhanced mobility, health, and quality of life, the Center facilitates collaborations among academic researchers and commercial interests, developing innovative networks of scientists with interests in translational research.
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