The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced that it has renewed funding for nine Edward R. Roybal Centers for Research on Applied Gerontology and designated four new centers. The goal of the centers is to move promising social and behavioral research findings out of the laboratory and into programs and practices that will improve the lives of older people and help society adapt to an aging population. The centers focus on a range of projects, including maintaining mobility and physical function, enhancing driving performance, understanding financial and medical decision making, and sharpening cognitive function.
The total amount of support is more than $23.4 million over the next five years. The majority of the funding is provided by the NIA. One of the new centers was funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Additional funding is supplied by the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Social Security Administration and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Department of Education.
The Roybal Centers were authorized by Congress in 1993 and named for former House Select Committee on Aging Chair Edward R. Roybal. “The Roybal Centers have pursued a wide range of research that has yielded real-world results,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.). “This renewal and expansion of the centers carries on my father’s commitment to enhancing the lives of older Americans through research.”
“The Roybal Centers provide a research infrastructure to help accelerate the development of new products and technologies with the potential to develop innovative and practical solutions for a number of pressing problems affecting the health and quality of life of older Americans,” said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. “This is increasingly important, given the rapid growth in the numbers of older people in the United States and around the world.”
Although each focuses on a particular aspect of aging, all of the centers concentrate on the translation of research into practical applications that can be moved quickly into practice.
“One of the most exciting aspects of the Roybal Centers is their ability to take an idea all the way from the initial concept to a potential intervention,” said Richard Suzman, Ph.D., director of NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research. “By starting with the issues and challenges that people face in their lives these researchers are able to develop solutions that can readily be put into practice; in turn, the results sometimes lead to new basic research.”
The four new centers, their principal investigators and research focus are:
The nine Roybal Centers renewed for funding, their principal investigators and research focus are:
The NIA leads the federal effort supporting and conducting research on aging and the medical, social and behavioral issues of older people. For more information on research and aging, go to www.nia.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
Some of the activities described in this release are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. To track the progress of HHS activities funded through the Recovery Act, visit www.hhs.gov/recovery. To track all federal funds provided through the Recovery Act, visit www.recovery.gov.