Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research
Internal Resources Group
The Internal Resources Group (IRG) utilizes NIA/NIH-related entities and other relevant Institutes, Centers, and Programs in the academic and urban community environments of Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and the University of Michigan. Further, the three universities are committed to providing assistance in establishing relationships across institutional boundaries. MCUAAAR has had an ongoing collaboration with many of the members of the IRG, but seeks to strengthen our relationship with others. At least twice a year, there will be an in-person or virtual meeting with IRG members to share information and not only expose new MCUAAAR Research Scientists to opportunities in these organizations but also showcase the skills and expertise of the Scientists
We are organizing this important section by our new Internal Resources Group (IRG). The nature of this proposed administrative and scientific structure permits us to discuss the ways in which we expect the new MCUAAAR to be related to relevant NIA/NIH and other internal university Institutes, Centers, an
d Programs in the academic and urban community environments of MSU, WSU, and UM. As shown in Figure 1, MCUAAAR is envisioned at the center of relationships with NIA/NIH and other relevant Centers across the three universities. As indicated in the letter from the three VPs for Research, and the letters from Institutes and Centers, the universities are committed to providing assistance in establishing relationships across institutional boundaries.
The Collaborative, located within RCGD/ISR, bridges biology and behavior by developing new methodologies for integrating and visualizing data. By bringing together researchers from across the scientific spectrum, their work facilitates the translation and exchange of insightful discoveries. The mission of the Collaborative is to be a catalyst, incubator, and educator for new research methodologies that link the social and health sciences in service of promoting health and improved quality of life by identifying more complex and integrated data analyses to support improved decision making for individuals, communities, and society. The BioSocial Methods Collaborative is committed to educating researchers about the specifics and nuances of creating methods to analyze biosocial data. In sum, the BioSocial Methods Collaborative works with researchers who are in various stages of integrating social and biological research data, from those just formulating their research study to those who have already collected biosocial data. The expertise of the Center focuses on the methods used to analyze biosocial data and are very willing to be collaborative partners with investigators in the development of methods customized to research.
Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities (CIAHD)
CIAHD is a collaboration between the University of Michigan and the Jackson Heart Study through its partners the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Jackson State University. The goal of CIAHD is to promote and support research that comprehensively integrates social and biological factors within a multilevel framework in understanding the determinants of minority health and health disparities. Persistent and pronounced differences in health by race/ethnicity exist for multiple health outcomes. Despite repeated documentation of these disparities, there is still substantial debate on the driving forces behind them. Identifying the factors that generate these disparities has obvious implications for interventions and policies to improve health in minority populations and eliminate disparities. There is a growing sense that current approaches to understanding these disparities which often attempt to fragment the problem into distinct social and biological components are insufficient, not only from the point of view of scientific understanding but also from the point of view on identifying the most effective strategies to reduce disparities in the real world. The overall goal of the CIAHD is to promote research that integrates social and biological factors as well factors defined at multiple levels (ranging from individuals, to neighborhoods to societies) in understanding the causes of health disparities. Although the Center has initially focused on applying this model to cardiovascular risk, it provides a framework useful to all minority health and health disparities researchers.
CSCAR is a service and research unit under the administrative oversight of the VPR that provides integrated, comprehensive statistical consulting services covering all aspects of research design and analysis from initial study design through presentations of research findings. CSCAR provides free statistical support to UM faculty and research staff and is located approximately three blocks from the School of Social Work. Among the CSCAR services provided are those related to proposal presentation and study design (e.g., power and sample size calculations), dataset consulting (e.g., database design, transferring datasets across platforms and different software packages), choice of statistical methods, use of statistical software (e.g., SAS, SPSS, SYSTAT, S-Plus, BMDP, JMP, LISREL, and AMOS on Windows, UNIX, and Macintosh platforms), interpretation of and presentation of results, collaborative research, workshops, remote consultation using “whiteboard” software, and geographic information systems consultation. With regard to computing resources, CSCAR provides PCs and Mac computers with the latest versions of a large number of software programs such as STATA, MPLUS, AMOS, MATLAB, R, SAS, SPSS, ArcGIS, and ArcView GIS, among others. The CSCAR Library PC also has a variety of statistical software packages available for use including a sample size and power analysis package. CSCAR workshops are offered frequently and address a variety of statistical and analytic issues. Over the years, our research investigators have utilized this resource to assist in analysis.
In September 1989, the University of Michigan established the nation’s first Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center. The overall goals of the U-M Pepper Center are to advance research on health care problems of the elderly and to train future academic leaders in geriatrics. Drawing on the large base of research currently underway in the fields of geriatrics and gerontology at the University of Michigan, the U-M Pepper Center fosters collaborative multidisciplinary research to integrate basic science, clinical science, and health services research relevant to the health care problems of older adults. The specific goals of the U-M Pepper Center are to: 1) support research that will improve understanding of how metabolic factors and inflammation interact with age-related diseases and comorbidities to determine key health outcomes related to mobility and functional status; 2) support translational research on the interaction of metabolic factors and inflammation with age-related diseases and comorbidities to improve health outcomes related to mobility and functional status; 3) provide Resource Cores that support and assist investigator-initiated projects related to the UM Pepper Center’s research focus; 4) through its Research Education Core (REC), to strengthen the UM environment for training of future academic leaders in geriatrics and aging who can conduct research related to the UM Pepper Center’s research focus; and 5) through its Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core (PESC), to attract UM junior faculty, as well as selected senior faculty not previously involved in aging research, to develop new research projects related to the UM Pepper Center’s research focus.
Supported by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration, HRS is a longitudinal panel study that surveys a representative sample of approximately 20,000 people in America. Through its unique and in-depth interviews, the HRS provides an invaluable and growing body of multidisciplinary data that researchers can use to address important questions about the challenges and opportunities of aging.
IHPI is the nation’s leading university-based institute of health services researchers evaluating how healthcare works and how it can be improved, and advising policymakers to inform change. IHPI researchers collaborate across dozens of focused teams to improve the quality, safety, equity and affordability of healthcare services. IHPI brings together more than 500 investigators from U-M’s top-ranked schools of medicine, nursing, public health, engineering, social work, law, business, and public policy, among others, as well as partners from local research groups to address healthcare’s biggest challenges. The best policies are those informed by unbiased data and analysis rather than speculation or political popularity. Health services research applies the rigorous, methodical tools of scientific investigation to questions of effectiveness, access, value, affordability, quality and safety in healthcare.
ISR is one of the largest and oldest academic survey and social research organizations in the world. The ISR is dedicated to social science in the public interest. For more than 60 years, it has advanced public understanding of human behavior through empirical research of extraordinary depth and breadth. The Institute’s senior research staff is comprised of more than 100 Ph.D. level social scientists who hold faculty appointments in the Colleges of Architecture and Urban Planning and Literature, Science and the Arts, the Schools of Business Administration, Education, Law, Medicine, National Resources and Environment, Nursing, Public Health, and Social Work, and the Departments of Economics, History, Journalism, Political Science, Psychiatry, Psychology, and Sociology. ISR research scientists have directed some of the longest running and most widely cited and utilized studies in the nation. Organizationally, the ISR is comprised of the following: the Survey Research Center, a center that has been a national and international leader in interdisciplinary social science research involving the collection and analysis of data from scientific sample surveys; the Research Center for Group Dynamics, whose mission is to enhance the understanding of human behavior in a social context, and its research programs range from achievement, aggression, and culture and cognition to evolution and human adaptation; the Population Studies Center is one of the oldest population centers in the United States, it has a distinguished record in both domestic and international demographic and population research; the Center for Political Studies is an interdisciplinary and collaborative social science research unit of international scope, this center analyzes individual political behavior and the role of institutions in contemporary society; and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, which houses the world’s largest computerized social science data archive, this ISR unit has over 500 member organizations around the globe.
IEHS is home to the CURES Center (Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors). IEHS is a core of research scientists who use state-of-the-art technologies to identify the central
mechanisms that lead to environmentally-linked disease. The CURES Center has a diverse team of scientists, clinicians, public health professionals, educators and community leaders working together to build a healthy living and working environment in the City of Detroit. Located in the heart of the “motor city” and situated on the Wayne State University urban campus, the CURES Center motto is “Gateway to a Healthy Detroit.” CURES is dedicated to: Voicing community concerns about environmental safety; Identifying environmental stressors that affect human health in urban Detroit; Discovering mechanisms that lead to disease susceptibility; and Developing workable solutions to public health problems. The mission of the Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (IEHS) is to apply advanced research approaches to understand and mitigate the deleterious effects of the urban industrial environment on human health. The IEHS is committed to building strong transdisciplinary research teams to meet the challenges of the changing urban environment. The ultimate goal of IEHS research is to benefit human health through the prevention or early detection of environmentally-induced disease.
ICPSR maintains the world’s oldest and largest archive of research and instructional data for the social and behavioral sciences. ICPSR’s current catalog of holdings includes 9,500 studies, 76,000 datasets, and 250,000 files. Data are available as SAS, Stata, SPSS, and R ready-to-go files and ASCII readable into any package. Most documentation is available as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. ICPSR is supported by 760 member institutions comprised of universities, government agencies, and other institutions. ICPSR’s data are the foundation for thousands of research articles, reports, and books. Findings from these data are put to use by scholars, policy analysts, policy makers, the media, and the public. Topical archives within ICPSR focus on particular substantive areas – for example, aging, demography, criminal justice, and others – and are supported by several government agencies and foundations. The ICPSR topical archive on aging—the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA)—has developed the largest library of electronic data on aging in the United States. NACDA offers opportunities for secondary analysis on major issues of scientific and policy relevance. NACDA staff members include professional researchers, archivists and technicians who work together to obtain, process, distribute, and promote data relevant to aging research. ICPSR offers a number of dissemination services including curation services, data management services, a variables
database enabling search across and within studies, and access to restricted-use data through a virtual data enclave and onsite physical data enclave. In addition, ICPSR maintains an online bibliography of data-related literature with two-way linking between data and publications. This searchable database contains over 70,000 citations of known published and unpublished works resulting from analyses of data held in the ICPSR archive. ICPSR also offers a summer training program in the quantitative methods of behavioral and social research.
Established at Michigan Medicine and based in the Department of Neurology, the MADC aims to conduct and support research on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders; promote state-of-the-art care and wellness for individuals and families affected by memory loss, and increase dementia awareness through collaborative education and outreach efforts. The MADC goals are guided by an Internal Advisory Board and a Community Advisory Board. To reach their goals, MADC supports recruitment for memory and aging research; connects interested volunteers to research opportunities; provides programs focusing on whole-body health and well-being through our Wellness Initiative, and collaborates with three local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association to enhance their community outreach through education programs. The Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center is committed to improving knowledge and awareness of dementia through collaborative education and outreach efforts. To support this commitment, they have established partnerships with several University of Michigan departments and institutions, and with community organizations. Their partnerships enable them to provide, co-sponsor, support, and promote educational programs for individuals experiencing memory loss and for care partners. The Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center conducts and supports innovative memory and aging research that seeks to: identify disease-modifying treatments, understand disease mechanisms in AD and other dementias, define biomarkers for early and accurate detection, and devise effective coping strategies for individuals with memory loss and their care-partners. Despite tremendous recent advances in understanding Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, there’s still much we do not know about the causes of dementing disorders and how to slow down or prevent them altogether. Clinicians and scientists alike need to take a broad, fresh view of the causes of dementia and the potential routes to better therapy. The MADC is deeply committed to this task. Building from the rich expertise present across the University campus, the MADC strives to foster cutting-edge research toward a better understanding and better treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body Disease, frontotemporal dementia, and other related disorders. Areas of research emphasis include investigations of the quality control machinery that counters aggregated proteins in dementia, imaging studies that seek to improve our ability to diagnose diseases earlier and more accurately, and explorations of the interplay between metabolic disorders (e.g. obesity, diabetes) and Alzheimer’s disease. A key part of the MADC mission is to make connections – linking scientists to scientists, clinicians to scientists, volunteers to studies, even programs to programs. Through these connections, MADC can lower the barriers to solving the challenging problems associated with dementia.
MiCDA promotes new research on the demography and economics of aging across four signature themes: chronic disease and disability; life-course determinants of late-life health and well-being; aging, genetics, and social science; and the economics of savings and retirement. The Center also promotes the wide use of Michigan’s key aging-related data collections, notably the Health and Retirement Study and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. In addition, the Center fosters national and international collaboration through coordination of several research networks, funds pilot projects, distributes research findings by affiliates, and supports a secure virtual statistical enclave for access to restricted aging-related data. Over 80 faculty members across the UM campus are currently affiliated with MiCDA.
MICHR is a trans-institutional academic research and service unit. It is dedicated to enabling clinical and translational research in order to improve the lives of individuals and their communities. Since its founding in 2006, MICHR has legitimized and promoted clinical and translational investigation at the University of Michigan, serving as a research hub for faculty and staff from 20 schools, colleges, and institutes and more than 170 departments and divisions across campus. Their past accomplishments include education, community engagement, and research support. MICHR is committed to developing innovative ways of lowering the barriers to translation and empowering vibrant lives locally, nationally, and internationally. MICHR received a Clinical and Translational Science Award from NIH and MCUAAAR utilizes this resource in studies involving any of the clinical sciences.
MIDAS is the focal point for the multidisciplinary area of data science at the University of Michigan. This area covers a wide spectrum of scientific pursuits (development of concepts, methods, and technology) for data collection, management, analysis, and interpretation as well as their innovative use to address important problems in science, engineering, business, and other areas. Active research in Data Science at U-M ranges from data management, data curation and data-sharing incentives to statistics, machine learning, and data visualization, addressing problems in astronomy, evolutionary biology, disease model discovery, health policy, materials synthesis, personalized medicine, social sciences, and teaching and learning. MIDAS is building an interdisciplinary core faculty of up to 40 data scientists (from statistics, biostatistics and mathematics, computer science and engineering, information science, and a range of data science-intensive application experts). MIDAS also includes a Data Science Challenge Initiatives Program (Learning Analytics, Transportation, Social Sciences, and Personalized Medicine & Health); a Data Science Education and Training Program; as well as an Industry Engagement Program. MIDAS builds on the university’s strengths in data science to benefit the campus, state, and nation by advancing cross-cutting data science methodologies and developing new educational programs that leverage world-class Data Science Services and Infrastructure. Finally, MIDAS is part of the Advanced Research Computing (ARC) Office in the University of Michigan Office of Research (UMOR). ARC provides or facilitates access to: a shared computing cluster; Flux, operated on an allocation basis; a Hadoop cluster for data-science research; cloud computing services; regional and national high-performance computing resources; and regional and national network resources.
IHP is a unit within the College of Human Medicine (MSU CHM), Division of Public Health. The Institute serves a unique role in facilitating and supporting collaborative relationships among CHM faculty and researchers throughout campus. These collaborative activities inform policymakers, state agencies, and others with the goal of improving health care delivery in Michigan. The mission of the IHP is to improve the health status of Michigan residents through health services research, policy analysis, education and outreach, and support of quality improvement activities. The IHP works closely with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan Medicaid managed care plans, professional organizations, and community-based agencies on collaborative projects to improve health care delivery in Michigan. It supports and conducts health research and analysis by MSU faculty on issues of quality of care, access to care, health disparities, and other topics impacting Medicaid, the underserved, and other populations. IHP conducts health policy analyses to assist decision-makers at the state, local, and national levels. Faculty in the IHP provides quality improvement technical assistance and support to Michigan Medicaid managed care plans and the Michigan Medicaid program.
NACDA, located within ICPSR, is funded by the National Institute on Aging. NACDA’s mission is to advance research on aging by helping researchers to profit from the under-exploited potential of a broad range of datasets. NACDA acquires and preserves data relevant to gerontological research, processing as needed to promote effective research use, disseminates them to researchers, and facilitates their use. By preserving and making available the largest library of electronic data on aging in the United States, NACDA offers opportunities for secondary analysis on major issues of scientific and policy relevance. The NACDA staff represents a team of professional researchers, archivists, and technicians who work together to obtain, process, distribute, and promote data relevant to aging research.
Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID)
PSID is the longest-running longitudinal household survey in the world. The study began in 1968 with a nationally representative sample of over 18,000 individuals living in 5,000 families in the United States. Information on these individuals and their descendants has been collected continuously, including data covering employment, income, wealth, expenditures, health, marriage, childbearing, child development, philanthropy, education, and numerous other topics. The PSID is directed by faculty at the University of Michigan, and the data are available on this website without cost to researchers and analysts. The data are used by researchers, policy analysts, and teachers around the globe. Over 6,000 peer-reviewed publications have been based on the PSID. Recognizing the importance of the data, numerous countries have created their own PSID-like studies that now facilitate cross-national comparative research. The National Science Foundation recognized the PSID as one of the 60 most significant advances funded by NSF in its 60-year history. These data have been used by several MCUAAR faculty and research investigators, especially those interested in the economics of aging and family issues.
In 1965, Congress passed the Older Americans Act which established and authorized senior programs, particularly senior centers and related services. At that time, the Agency functioned as a component of the Genesee County (Flint) area) Model Cities Program. Federal funds initially flowed through Model Cities, a federal program intended to strengthen communities across the country. The Valley Area Agency on Aging (VAAA) was incorporated in 1976 and Genesee, Lapeer, and Shiawassee Counties joined the City of Flint to comprise Michigan’s Region 5 Planning and Service Area. The Agency serves the seniors of Genesee, Lapeer, and Shiawassee Counties. Since 2003 VAAA has secured an unprecedented number of federal grants and has moved toward the use of more technology, and new collaborative partners have been established. The overall revenue has increased to $16,534,295 which excludes additional funding beyond fiscal year-end of $1,328,717 for a total of $17,863,012 in total funding.