James S. Jackson photo

Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging

a MiCDA Research Project Description

Investigators: James S. Jackson, Letha Chadiha, Robert J. Taylor, Carmen R. Green, Jacqui E. Smith, Amy M. Pienta, Toni C. Antonucci

Funding: National Institute on Aging, 2012-2018 (2 P30 AG 015281 16)

The Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) is a collaborative research and administrative effort based on the campuses of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. It is one of six centers coordinated by the Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) to empirically investigate and reduce health disparities between minority and non-minority older adults. To fulfill this mission, MCUAAAR pursues twin goals of (1) increasing the number of highly trained African American aging researchers, and (2) including more elderly African American subjects in health disparities research. In the current project period, we have three aims: 1) To recruit and mentor 15 new junior scholars into the area of aging and health research; 2) To increase important research on health and health promotion among older adults of ethnic and racial populations, especially African Americans; and 3) To extend research on the recruitment and retention of African American elders in health via our large Participant Registry. Aims 1 and 2 are motivated in part by an NIH-funded study (Ginther et al, 2011) finding that proposals from black scientists were 10 percentage points less likely to win grants than were applications from white investigators – which in practical terms means that whites are about twice as likely as blacks to win approval. Aim 3 recognizes that a sophisticated social/behavioral approach is required to understand the growing mortality, disease, and health disparities among older African Americans. The significance of this project is directly rooted in three major factors: overcoming critical barriers to and advancing scientific knowledge in the field of aging research.

Research Signature Theme:

Health and well-being in later life: Disparities