UB’s Center for Successful Aging Funds Pilot Projects

Bruce R. Troen, MD

Published September 11, 2019

The UB Center for Successful Aging (CSA) has awarded its first round of research funding for projects aimed at improving the lives of senior citizens through its UB Seeds for Innovation in Successful Aging program.

“Funding pilot research with transformative potential is a key step toward making UB a national leader in aging research, and our inaugural awardees all reflect the UB CSA’s core values of interdisciplinary collaboration and engagement.”
Founder and director of the UB Center for Successful Aging

The funded projects were selected from proposals solicited from throughout the university that address an important issue facing older adults through interdisciplinary research and a close connection with a community partner.

Deprescribing Project Receives Funding

Three faculty members and one student from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences are researchers on “The Deprescribing Network of Western New York for Successful Aging,” one of the funded projects. They are:

  • Ranjit Singh, MB BChir, associate professor of family medicine
  • Andrew Baumgartner, student in the medical education program
  • Susan LaValley, PhD, research assistant professor of family medicine
  • Collin Clark, PharmD, research assistant professor of family medicine and adjunct instructor in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Their project involves establishing a Deprescribing Research Network in Western New York focused on deprescribing, which is reducing the prescribing of unnecessary and sometimes harmful medications in the elderly.

The goal is to generate approaches for intervening that will be evaluated by clinical practice teams, patients, caregivers and payers. Ultimately, an important outcome will be to make deprescribing a routine process in elder care.

Other researchers on the project — who are from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences — are:

  • Robert G. Wahler Jr., PharmD, clinical assistant professor
  • Scott V. Monte, PharmD, clinical assistant professor
  • David M. Jacobs, PharmD, clinical assistant professor
  • Christopher J. Daly, PharmD, clinical assistant professor
  • Esra A. Mustafa, PharmD, adjunct instructor

Funding Marks Milestone for CSA

The CSA’s mission is to conduct community-responsive research among UB faculty and its community partners to solve challenges facing older adults.

The funding of the first round of projects with internal support from UB marks a milestone in realizing the potential of the CSA, according to Bruce R. Troen, MD, CSA’s founder and director, who is also chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and a professor of medicine.

“I have been looking forward to this moment since I came to UB in 2013,” says Troen, who sees patients through UBMD and is also a physician-investigator in the VA Western New York Healthcare System.

“Funding pilot research with transformative potential is a key step toward making UB a national leader in aging research, and our inaugural awardees all reflect the UB CSA’s core values of interdisciplinary collaboration and engagement.”

“We look forward to announcing our second round of funding soon,” he notes.

Other Projects Focus on Frailty, Social Isolation

Two additional projects received funding. They are:

  • “A Novel Method to Measure Muscle Mass in a Community Sample of Postmenopausal Women in Western New York” by researchers from the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health and Department of Rehabilitation Science in the School of Public Health and Health Professions, as well as Excelsior Orthopaedics
  • “The Effects of Voice-Command Technology on Loneliness and Depression Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults with Driving Cessation” by researchers from the Department of Rehabilitation Science in the School of Public Health and Health Professions; the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and Hearts and Hands in Amherst, N.Y.

The purpose of providing pilot funding is to foster a collaborative environment for aging-related scholarship at UB and to generate preliminary results to help the projects receive external funding in the future.