The UCLA Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC) is designed to promote research aimed at maintaining and restoring the independence of older persons. Through its theme of Translational Research to Maintain Independence, the UCLA OAlC's research extends across the full spectrum from T1 to T2 translational research. Within this theme, an important focus of the UCLA OAIC is on developing and understanding interventions that reduce inflammation. To accomplish its goals, the UCLA OAIC has established 4 Research Cores (Recruitment and Retention, Research Operations, Analysis and Cost Effectiveness, and Inflammatory Biology) and a new Information Dissemination Core that will facilitate OAlC-related research at every step (recruitment, measurement, data management, analysis, interpretation, and adoption of findings). Research cores provide support at 4 levels: Consultation (e.g., providing up to several hours of advice, reading a paper or a proposal) Short-term (e.g., up to a couple days of consultation, performing assays) Ongoing or long-term support (e.g., ongoing, part of the project team) Partnership on new proposals In addition, the UCLA OAIC Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core and Research Career Development Core stimulate new research via a pipeline of junior investigators and pilot awards and recruit successful investigators into OAlC-related research. A specific goal of the Center is to create teams of translational researchers and to train junior faculty in the principles of conducting research that bridges basic, clinical, and health services/dissemination research. The Leadership/Administrative Core ensures that these specific activities are accomplished and the goals of the UCLA OAIC are optimally achieved. By focusing efforts and resources through the OAIC, the timeline for research to develop, test, and disseminate promising innovations to maintain independence can be accelerated. At the end ofthe 5-year cycle, the UCLA OAIC will be a model program for translational research extending from basic science to clinical practice and policy and will have created a generation of new researchers who can begin to assume leadership in this theme.
Preventing chronic diseases or reducing their effects requires research on the aging process, on diseases and disorders affecting older persons, on lifestyle modifications, on what treatments work best for whom, and on how best to deliver health care. By focusing efforts and resources through the UCLA OAIC, the timeline for research to develop, test, and disseminate promising innovations to maintain independence can be accelerated.
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