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Meaningful Scientific Progress

scoa research cluster

Originally, The Sealy Center on Aging (SCoA) operated on three independent areas of research, Medical Effectiveness, Hispanic Aging, and Muscle Aging. SCoA developed a fourth area, Implementation, over the past five years to provide better care at a lower cost to older adults living in the community.

Fellows and senior fellows conduct aging research at UTMB. In addition to research, SCoA supports Geriatric Education of students, junior faculty, and healthcare providers as well as many activities in the community.

Areas of Research

Our four research clusters have produced a large amount of new medical knowledge which has been implemented in our health system. Each cluster holds activities that have resulted in more than 400 publications and approximately $90 million in external research funding.

Medical Effectiveness

Medical Effectiveness Research (MER) is also called Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) or outcomes research. The term "effectiveness" refers to how treatments actually work in real world community practice rather than in randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

The patients enrolled in RCTs tend to be younger and better educated, with lower percentages of women, minorities, the elderly, and those with multiple comorbidities. Plus, patients in RCTs are monitored more closely than those in the community.

Leaders: J. Goodwin, YF. Kuo, K. Ottenbacher

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Hispanic Aging

Hispanic Aging Research uses a population-based perspective, in which the social and economic context and the behavior of individuals play a central role in the study of how health changes as people age.

The population composition of the United States has become increasingly Hispanic, and is projected to become even more so, both because of the growth of the US native population and immigration from Mexico and other countries in Latin America.

This research area typically uses data from surveys, censuses, or administrative records, and SCoA researchers have a distinct niche within this field, since they have established reputations focusing on the health and aging of Hispanic populations in the United States and abroad, Mexico in particular.

Leaders: K. Markides, K. Peek, S. Al Snih, R. Wong

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Muscle Aging

Muscle Aging Research focuses on the mechanisms that lead to loss of muscle mass, strength, function, and independence in older adults and the identification of targets for interventions to preserve independence and accelerate functional recovery from illness.

The approach is translational, and spans from the basic sciences to outcomes research, with investigators in the various disciplines interacting weekly or more often in joint collaborations.

Leaders: D. Paddon-Jones, J. Papaconstantinou, B. Rasmussen, M. Sheffield-Moore, R. Urban, E. Volpi

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Implementation Research is a new area we have recently developed to translate the research findings of our other three foci into innovative patient care.

The major focus of the implementation sciences pillar of SCoA is to improve population health and provide value-based care.

Leaders: M. Masel, M. Raji, G. Sharma

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Site managed by UTMB Sealy Center on Aging • Data Updated: January 2019