Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease (MCCFAD)
Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease (MCCFAD) aims to foster and enhance innovative research in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) with the long term goals to 1) advance ADRD-relevant social and behavioral science research in underserved and underrepresented communities while; 2) diversify the research workforce dedicated to healthy aging. This center will build on the existing deep infrastructure and research strengths in dementia and aging research at the University of Michigan (UM). The MCCFAD will emphasize research in three priority areas of: epidemiology, health economics, and culturally sensitive care. The rationale for these three areas is directly related to the current lack of a comprehensive understanding of the contextual complexities inherent in ADRD disparities, the need to enhance diversity in the professional research workforce addressing the brain and cognitive health of older adults, as well as dynamic changes in the demographic and multi-cultural composition of the U.S. population. The MCCFAD will promote diversifying the research workforce dedicated to healthy aging through collaborations with other NIA-sponsored Centers and programs and via connections with R1, R2 and R3 universities in Michigan. The Center will focus on the contexts in which ADRD is experienced. Knowledge concerning the contexts of ADRD is quite limited but has been shown to be critical for elucidating sociocultural, economic and behavioral contributors to and consequences of health disparities generally and ADRD disparities specifically. The Center’s four Cores are: Administrative (AC), Research and Education (REC), Analytic (AnC), Community Liaison and Recruitment (CLRC) with the following specific aims: Aim 1: Advance ADRD-relevant disparities research in epidemiology, culturally-sensitive care, and health economics; Aim 2: Recruit and mentor 15 junior or mid-career RCMAR Scientists from the pilot-study investigator stage through professional publications and independent research applications and funding; Aim 3: Connect with African American, Arab American and Latino communities to broaden understanding of intra- and inter-cultural factors affecting participation in ADRD research. The Center profits from the groundbreaking, successful work of their extensive network of experienced mentors and experts. These resources, along with planned structure and activities will ensure that, upon receiving NIA designation as an AD-RCMAR, the MCCFAD will have a significant impact in diversifying the research workforce dedicated to healthy aging while enhancing research to better understand AD and related forms of dementia across various contexts.
Kira S Birditt, Helen G Levy, Lindsay H Ryan, Noah J Webster, Jacqui Smith, Vicki A Freedman, Toni C Antonucci, David R Weir, Kenneth M Langa