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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / January 2020 / UR CTSI Incubator Project on Social Ties and Aging Leads to $3.6M NIH Grant

UR CTSI Incubator Project on Social Ties and Aging Leads to $3.6M NIH Grant

Left to right: Vankee Lin, Kathi Heffner, Kimberly Van OrdenKathi Heffner, Ph.D., Kimberly Van Orden, Ph.D., and Feng (Vankee) Lin, Ph.D., R.N. – all recipients of a UR CTSI Incubator Award in 2017 - have been awarded a new $3.6 million grant to promote social connectedness and health of older adults. With the grant, they have developed the new Roybal Center for Social Ties and Aging Research, which will foster collaboration among researchers and fund pilot studies to combat social disconnection in older caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and other related dementias.

According to Heffner, the 2017 Incubator project laid the foundation for this new project grant.

“The project grant continues our focus on social connectedness for healthy aging that we began with our Incubator pilot studies,” Heffner said. “The Incubator Award supported development of research infrastructure that we will now grow and continue with support from this grant –namely, a registry and process for recruiting older adults for healthy aging research.”

While the 2017 Incubator project sought to develop interventions that promote social connectedness in older adults broadly, the new grant takes a more targeted look at the impact of caregiving.

Learn more about the new $3.6 million grant in the URMC Newsroom.


Heffner, Van Orden and Lin's UR CTSI Incubator Award was supported under the University of Rochester CTSA award number UL1 TR002001 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. The UR CTSI Incubator Program supports “super-pilot projects,” two years in duration, that are intended to accelerate innovative scientific discovery in the life sciences and public health, leading to new independently funded research programs.

Michael Hazard | 1/24/2020

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