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 milieu 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 three resource cores which have evolved from prior OAIC support: (1) an Analysis Core, (2) a Biochemical Pathways Core, and a (3) Metabolomics Core. Several externally funded NIH, VA or industry-sponsored grants, with relevant study aims and study populations will receive support from these cores.
New specific aims relevant to our Center theme will be added for each external project. Data from these studies (interventional and cohort) will be added to a common database that includes data from our prior funding periods. This extends our research capabilities and allows us to develop new ideas for investigation. The Research Career Development Core and the Pilot/Exploratory Studies Core will facilitate career development and enhancement of research capabilities with established post-doctoral Research and Geriatric Training Programs and participation in the Duke OAIC Research Seminar Series, the Data Integration Working Group, the Pilot Studies workshop, the Pepper Scholars program, and access as needed to a Functional Measurement Resource group. The cores are seamlessly integrated and work closely to develop young trainees and research projects by interactions from concept through completion of proposed work. During the first year, three pilot projects, two development projects, and three junior faculty will be supported. Subsequent support for career development, pilot projects, and development will be selected on a competitive basis using criteria clearly defined in the OAIC guidelines. A Leadership and 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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