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$3.5 million grant renewal marks 30 years of support for minority aging and health equity across Michigan

September 20, 2023

Contact: Jon Meerdink ([email protected])

ANN ARBOR — Funding for the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) has been renewed, ensuring another five years of high quality research, career mentorship, and community outreach.

MCUAAAR, which has been continuously funded since 1997, is a collaborative, multi-university research center housed at the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Michigan State University. With support from the National Institutes of Health, MCUAAAR focuses on the health and well-being of older African Americans, with a special focus on pilot research by early career faculty. According to MCUAAAR co-director Peter Lichtenberg of Wayne State University, the renewed funding will allow the center to continue to build on its longstanding mission.

“Having a mentoring program to assist junior faculty interested in African American aging research has propelled many careers forward and will do so again during the next five years,” he said. 

The new funding will carry MCUAAAR past its 30th anniversary, giving the center a legacy of stability that has helped many young researchers further their careers. Principal investigator and co-director Robert Joseph Taylor of the University of Michigan says it’s rewarding to see the center’s long-term work bearing fruit.

“As a mature center we can see the results of our mentoring junior scholars,” he said. “Many of the Assistant Professors and graduate students who were mentored by MCUAAAR are now full professors, professors who hold endowed chairs and deans at various universities across the country.”

During the last funding round, Michigan State University was included in the three-university center as a partner for the first time. Co-director Amanda Woodward of Michigan State  is excited to build on the unique strengths of each of the partner universities as MCUAAAR supports and equips future scholars.

“By supporting the individual careers of junior faculty MCUAAAR is helping to build a body of scholars who are dedicated to understanding and addressing issues important to the health and well-being of older African Americans and who will contribute to educating future cohorts of researchers and health practitioners,” she said. 

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