The Duke Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC) is structured to (1) enhance and support research and (2) research career development in aging research through its Core resources. The central theme of our OAIC is to understand and modify the multiple pathways of functional decline. The OAIC is based in the Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, an all-university program with strong multidisciplinary affiliated programs such as the Durham VA GRECC, the Hartford Center of Excellence, the Duke Institute for Genomic Sciences and Policy, the Duke Translational Medicine Institute, the Duke Center for Living, and the Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center. This rich mileu includes 130 faculty as Senior Fellows of the Aging Center and over 25 million dollars of research germane to the goals of the OAIC. The Duke OAIC will support two resource cores which have evolved from prior OAIC support: (1) an Analysis Core and (2) a Biological Studies Core. Five externally funded NIH/ VA grants, with study aims and study populations that integrate into our thematic focus, will receive support from these cores;with new specific research aims relevant to our Center. The Research Career Development Core and the Pilot/Exploratory Studies Core will facilitate career development with established post-doctoral Research and Geriatric Training Programs. During the first year, three pilot projects, one development project from each research core, and three junior faculty will be supported. Subsequent support for career development and pilot projects will be selected on a competitive basis using criteria clearly defined in the OAIC guidelines. A Leadership/ Administrative Core will direct and coordinate OAIC activities to ensure continued integration of center activities.
The public impact will be a significant advancement in the basic understanding of the multiple factors that contribute to functional decline, and the enhancement of interventions directed at improving the overall quality of life of older adults.
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