Center for Research on Aging
The ORC in Gerontology was established in 1998 under the leadership of Andrew P. Goldberg, MD, and Jay S. Magaziner, PhD, MSHyg. The center coordinates research and research training in those areas of gerontology that transcend traditional disciplinary lines and are amenable to an interdisciplinary approach to critical issues in aging research. It interfaces with the University's existing efforts in gerontology and geriatric medicine to develop research, educational and clinical programs that nurture and expand research and research funding in aging. The goal of the ORC in Gerontology is to enhance involvement and collaboration among faculty at the University's six health professional schools, and expand the conduct of interdisciplinary research and research training in gerontology through collaborations among investigators in aging research at University of Maryland, College Park and University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
The mission of the ORC in Gerontology is to create, facilitate and expand interdisciplinary collaborations among investigators to further the development of academic excellence in key areas of clinical, epidemiological, basic-biomedical, mental health, legal-ethical, health services and population-based research in aging. In doing so, it will amplify and enrich these areas of aging research, provide outstanding research training and educational opportunities to students, trainees and health professionals, and enhance the delivery of multi-disciplinary geriatric care to older persons. This will be accomplished by collaborating with key leaders in gerontology at the University and elsewhere in the University System of Maryland to expand resources for the conduct of aging research, target populations, which can provide the basis for research and research training in aging, and develop core facilities to conduct new, cutting-edge, interdisciplinary aging research.
The center emphasizes several specific research areas in aging at the University where there are existing funded initiatives. This approach optimizes the use of resources and builds on the existing strengths in aging research at UMB. These areas involve several nationally recognized research programs in aging: 1) the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, which conducts exercise rehabilitation research in functionally limited older patients; 2) the Baltimore Hip Studies, which conducts research in hip fracture recovery; 3) the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) within the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which conducts research in the secondary prevention of coronary artery disease through exercise, nutrition and smoking cessation in high risk older veterans and the tertiary rehabilitation of older veterans who have suffered a stroke; 4) the Maryland Long-Term Care Project, which conducts epidemiologic research in residential, long-term care and assisted-living sites; 5) the VA Cooperative Geriatric Evaluation and Management Research Study, which conducts rehabilitation research in frail older hospitalized VA patients to prevent the need for institutionalization in nursing homes; 6) the National Study of Osteoporotic Fractures, which examines risk factors for hip fracture in older women and 7) NIA-funded research training programs in exercise physiology and metabolism research and the epidemiology of aging.
Within these foci, the ORC: 1) promotes interdisciplinary research in aging among faculty with similar interests; 2) establishes core facilities and populations for the conduct of interdisciplinary research and research training in aging; 3) identifies potential funding sources for aging research and 4) provides support for pilot studies in aging research by trainees and junior faculty. These activities will lead to the development of new interdisciplinary aging research and enhance the competitiveness of investigators at UMB for peer-reviewed funding in aging.
Membership in the ORC consists of faculty at three University campuses, Johns Hopkins University, the NIA-Gerontology Research Center and other members of academic institutions who have major professional interests in aging research and are involved in collaborative research in gerontology and geriatrics at the University. The ORC will provide these faculty and students with 1) opportunities for collaborations and interactions to develop research in aging, 2) access to populations and core facilities for the conduct of aging research, 3) support of pilot studies necessary to promote the development of new grant proposals and 4) access to research fellows, research assistants and administrative staff to assist them in the conduct of their aging research. Faculty members of the ORC meet regularly to develop research grants in the central areas of the ORC mission.