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August 19, 2021

UConn Center on Aging awarded $7 million grant

UConn Health/Janine Gelineau UConn Health.

The UConn Center on Aging was awarded a $7 million Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center grant for its research work on aging and geriatrics. 

The grant, which designates the UConn Center on Aging as a “Pepper Center,” will be used to advance the new field of precision gerontology, which seeks to enhance independence in older adults, according to UConn.  

The designation begins this month and continues through 2026. There are only 14 other locations nationwide to receive the designation, according to the school.

“Aging is multifaceted and not ‘one-size-fits-all,’ ” said Dr. George Kuchel, director at the Center on Aging and multiple principal investigator for the UConn Pepper Center.

“Through more targeted and individualized care, together with newly emerging geroscience-based interventions designed to delay the onset and progression of multiple chronic diseases by targeting biological aging, we can make geriatrics care even more personalized and effective,” said Kuchel. 

Pepper Center Principal investigator Richard Fortinsky, a professor and Health Net Inc. endowed chair in Geriatrics and Gerontology, said the UConn Health team is especially interested in approaches that will enhance independence relative to mobility, memory, and behavior, host defense and infection, and voiding.  

Areas of focus involve a collaboration with the UConn Health Disparities Institute to increase participation in research by older adults from typically under-represented communities and another with the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine to add expertise in human genomics. 

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