James S. Jackson photo

Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research-Bridge Funds

a MiCDA Research Project Description

Investigators: James S. Jackson, Jamie Mitchell, Robert J. Taylor, Toni C. Antonucci, Amy M. Pienta, Jacqui E. Smith

Funding: National Institute on Aging, 2017-2018 (3 P30 AG 015281 20 S1)

Our specific aims represent a systematic continuation of our prior RCMAR efforts. Specifically the mission of our Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) is to generate knowledge that will reduce health disparities and improve health. 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. To achieve these two goals, our continuation proposal will explore three specific 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 by utilizing our large Participant Registry. Among other things Aims 1 and 2 are motivated by the NIH-funded study (Ginther et al, 2011), which reported that proposals from black scientists were 10 percentage points less likely to win grants than were applications from white investigators; in practical terms, this gap 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. Throughout their training, our trainees have unlimited access to our Participant Registry, a research subject pool of currently 1685 minority subjects built over nearly a decade following a Community Based Participatory Model. The significance of this project is directly rooted in three major factors: overcoming critical barriers, improving scientific knowledge, and advancing field of aging research. Our project innovativeness resides in three distinctive features: shifts in current paradigms, novel approaches, and refined concepts.

Research Signature Theme:

Health and well-being in later life: Disparities