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Native Alzheimer's Disease Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (NAD-RCMAR)

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OVERALL ABSTRACT American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (NHPIs) are increasingly concerned about Alzheimer?s disease and related dementias (ADRD), as these conditions will have a major impact on their communities. Although AI/ANs and NHPIs are culturally diverse and dispersed throughout the US, they share a high prevalence of ADRD risk factors. In addition, life expectancies for AI/ANs and NHPIs have improved over the last 50 years by as much as 30 years, resulting in a tripling of their population share of people aged 65 and older. The confluence of perceived need, high risk, and limited data motivates us to propose a Native Alzheimer?s Disease-related Resource Center in Minority Aging Research (NAD-RCMAR). Our research team offers unique scientific resources and opportunities as well as an extensive network of academic and community partnerships. Based at Washington State University (WSU), with collaborators at Stanford University and the University of Colorado, we will create an innovative program to understand, intervene on, and mitigate the ADRD-related health disparities experienced by AI/ANs and NHPIs. The Center?s theme will emphasize AI/AN and NHPI health disparities and aging from the individual to the population level. Our Research Education Component will fund meritorious Pilot Studies led by early-career investigators known as RCMAR Scientists. RCMAR Scientists will receive mentorship and training in methods, measurements, and study designs that meet high scientific standards and are culturally appropriate. They also will be mentored in the development of successful funding proposals so that they can pursue independent careers in ADRD research. Notably, 13 professionals who are either AI/AN or NHPI will participate as Co-Investigators, Consultants, or RCMAR Scientists. Our Specific Aims are to: 1) Build infrastructure, assemble resources, and provide scientific expertise to enhance the diversity of the aging research workforce by mentoring promising junior and mid-level underrepresented minority scientists for sustained careers in ADRD research, focusing on AI/AN and NHPI populations; 2) Recruit RCMAR Scientists, especially those of AI/AN, NHPI, and other URM backgrounds, to conduct Pilot Studies in the social, behavioral, epidemiological, and clinical sciences on ADRD, and use these Pilot Studies as a vehicle for delivering mentorship and career guidance; and 3)Promote advances in ADRD research and increase the number of independent underrepresented minority researchers, with an emphasis on AI/AN and NHPI health faculty, who can address the health and well-being of AI/AN and NHPI elders, health disparities, and aging from the individual to the societal level. NAD-RCMAR will also capitalize on the national network of Satellite Centers created by Drs. Buchwald and Manson and led by AI/AN researchers. These Satellite Centers will ensure that our efforts are national in scope, especially our recruitment of RCMAR Scientists, our identification of datasets relevant to ADRD in AI/ANs and NHPIs, and our dissemination of results. This work will help address NIA?s research priorities for ADRD among underrepresented minorities, as articulated in the 2012 National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease. Our Center responds to NIA?s interest in diversifying the scientific workforce.
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