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National Institute on Aging

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The National Institute on Aging leads a national scientific effort to understand the nature of aging in order to promote the health and well-being of older adults. The NIA mission is to:

  • Support and conduct genetic, biological, clinical, behavioral, social, and economic research related to the aging process, diseases and conditions associated with aging, and other special problems and needs of older Americans.
  • Foster the development of research and clinician scientists in aging.
  • Provide research resources.
  • Communicate information about aging and advances in research on aging to the scientific community, health care providers, and the public.

Interest in Diversity

The face of aging in the United States is changing dramatically. People are living longer, achieving higher levels of education and experiencing increasingly lower rates of disability. Life expectancy nearly doubled during the 20th Century with a ten-fold increase in the number of Americans age 65 or older. Our health care, insurance, and retirement systems face the daunting task of meeting the needs of a rising number of diverse population groups, and the impact of an increasingly diverse elderly population on our communities is not fully understood. To meet these challenges, the NIA strongly supports the development of a diverse workforce of talented researchers and clinician scientists in aging and geriatrics. Researchers from diverse backgrounds can provide a valuable perspective on the development of approaches to promote health and limit disability in our diverse population of older adults.

Diversity-Targeted Programs

Richard J. Hodes, M.D. Richard J. Hodes, MD

Director's Statement

NIA is committed to expanding opportunities in research training and career development for investigators from racial/ethnic minorities and other populations that are underrepresented in biomedical and aging research. NIA supports several specific programs to assist in the development of research careers for investigators from underrepresented backgrounds whose research topics are relevant to the NIA mission.

NIA strives to augment the number of researchers from diverse backgrounds that conduct research in aging-related scientific disciplines. This will help enable the development of strategies to promote active life expectancy and improve the health status of older adults, including those in minority and other underserved populations.

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