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Programs

The Behavior and Physiology in Aging – Research Training Program
The Duke Hartford Foundation Center of Excellence
Claude D. Pepper Older American Independence Center (OAIC)
Duke Aging Center Family Support Program
Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Duke
Duke Memory Disorders Clinic
Behavioral Medicine Research Center
Geriatric Training Program for Physicians, Dentists, and Behavioral and Mental Health Professions
Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health
Computing and Statistical Laboratory
Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS)
Research Participant Registry

The Behavior and Physiology in Aging – Research Training Program, funded by NIH for the past 32 years, supports postdoctoral fellows with career interests in aging who train in Duke research programs in which aging research is ongoing. Areas of interest may include medical anthropology, exercise physiology, psychology, and nursing. Fellows attend weekly seminars in the biomedical, social, and psychological aspects of aging as well as in professional development. An important component of the seminar is the annual research ethics module.

The Duke Hartford Foundation Center of Excellence, supported by the Hartford Foundation, concentrated on “early recruitment to academic geriatrics” and focused on providing research opportunities for Duke medical students in geriatrics from 1988 – 1994. During 1997 – 2006, our Center of Excellence concentrated on a critical period in the development of academic faculty: the transition from clinical fellowship to junior faculty and subsequent development towards an independent career as clinician-investigators and clinician-educators. The current Center of Excellence focuses on developing academic geriatrics faculty whose research, teaching, and clinical care will lead national efforts to meet the health care needs of our older citizens.

The Claude D. Pepper Older American Independence Center (OAIC) with funding by NIA, focuses on understanding and treating dysmobility associated with aging. Following the first designation of the Aging Center as Pepper Center in 1992, the second Pepper Center grant, awarded in 1999, included cores that provided service to other funded research projects, as well as to Pepper-specific projects. A third Pepper Center grant, awarded in 2006, is exploring approaches to understanding and modifying multiple pathways of functional decline through research and faculty development. In collaboration with various Duke departments, divisions, and centers, the OAIC supports mentored research of junior faculty; pilot research projects; an analysis core; a biological studies core; and developmental projects in biomarkers, metabolomics, and database development.

The Duke Aging Center Family Support Program, in collaboration with the Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Duke and the N.C. Alzheimer’s Association, with funding from the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services, provides the following free services to all North Carolina residents: confidential, personalized tips on caring for people with memory disorders; a comprehensive information packet on Alzheimer’s disease and a Caregiver newsletter delivered twice a year; telephone help with care decisions, coping strategies and evaluating service or residential care options as well as help selecting support groups, education programs, online information or books.

A large program project in Alzheimer’s disease supports a number of neuroscience and genetic investigations into the basic biology involved in this disease. This program project works in conjunction with the Duke Memory Disorders Clinic which identifies patients that have been thoroughly worked up as potential human subjects for scientists who are studying dementia. Another center, the Behavioral Medicine Research Center, was first funded in 1985, and continues to expand its role. Several of the major projects in that center are focused on aging effects on health and thus bring those investigators to interact with the programs in the Aging Center.

The Geriatric Training Program for Physicians, Dentists, and Behavioral and Mental Health Professions is a HRSA-supported program supporting fellowship and other training efforts that assist physicians, dentists, and behavioral and mental health professions who teach or plan to teach geriatric medicine, geriatric dentistry, or geriatric behavioral and mental health.

The Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health, in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Aging, has received two awards from the John Templeton Foundation to: 1) solicit, award and coordinate seven research projects which would investigate how religion/spirituality influences individual and community health, and 2) form and maintain a community of scholars, build network of senior and junior researchers in spirituality, theology and health.

The Computing and Statistical Laboratory operated by the Center permits easy access to large data bases and statistical analysis software packages. Both faculty and trainees can also access this facility through personal and laptop computers throughout the building or via modem or DSL facilities from other campus locations or at home. Statistical support to aid investigators and trainees in planning studies, analyzing data and learning how to use statistical software packages is also available in the computing laboratory. This expert statistical assistance is freely available and given in a one-on-one tutorial basis so that trainees and faculty can learn to develop the most appropriate study designs and use the most effective data analysis programs available.