New Consortium for Aging Clinical Research

November 7, 2017

Starting this fall, Susy Stark, PhD is leading a new Aging Clinical Research Consortium (ACRC) with support from the Institute of Clinical and Translation Sciences (ICTS) and the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at the Institute for Public Health.

Associate Professor, Program in Occupational Therapy, School of Medicine

The ACRC will serve as a catalyst for increasing aging research among ICTS partners (Washington University in St. Louis, BJC Healthcare, Saint Louis University, University of Missouri-Columbia and St. Louis College of Pharmacy). The goals of the ACRC are to:

  1. Encourage and support research in aging;
  2. Increase collaboration between researchers;
  3. Facilitate community-based research; and
  4. Promote the use of technology in aging research.

The ACRC will provide infrastructure and other resources to facilitate clinical translation science in aging. The objectives of the ACRC over the next five years are to:

  • Create an online catalog of aging research resources that will list current investigators, describe their protocols (clinical, basic, imaging), and identify common variables across studies.
  • Build on the current research forum program to develop an aging focused research forum. The research forum program uses a team mentoring approach to help investigators develop projects with the help of research experts and community stakeholders.
  • Create a Community Agency Based Research Network (CBRN). The CBRN will connect Area Agencies on Aging, Centers for Independent Living, other partners and investigators. This will allow for collaboration on the development of research questions that directly affect community intervention. The CBRN will also provide a network for recruitment and dissemination of findings.
  • Develop Mobile Research Support Teams (home and community based) to conduct assessments and deliver interventions in the community.
  • Harmonize existing databases (volunteers, tissue, clinical, imaging) for use across the aging consortium.
  • Create a core Washington University assessment protocol for aging research (i.e., imaging, common screening for dementia, NIH toolbox and PROMIS) and a shared registry of core assessment results from across the university.
  • Form a Technology Resource Group for aging studies that includes experts from a variety of disciplines and institutions. The TRG will be available for consultations for research focused on aging in place and independent living for older adults.

The ACRC team is currently collecting feedback on the consortium to inform their next steps and identify researchers engaged in aging-relevant work. If you are involved in aging-relevant research, please complete the brief (five minute) survey here:

To get access to many of ACRC’s resources, join the ICTS if you are not currently a member. ICTS membership is open to faculty, post-docs, ICTS pre-doctoral trainees, community physicians, and a few other partners—there is no cost for membership.

If you have any questions about the ACRC or the survey please contact Dr. Stark or the ACRC coordinator Brittany Minor (314-273-4116).