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Pilot Seed Grant Program​

Engaging a New Generation of Leaders in Geriatric Research

Launched in 2007, The Pilot Seed Grant program supports innovative, high-risk, multi-disciplinary research in aging including basic and translational research leading to innovations in health care for older adults.

The program was developed to encourage junior faculty researchers to explore new areas of research in aging that have a potential for further funding from extramural funding sources.

Funding for the Pilot Seed Grant is made possible through the Aging Institute of UPMC Senior Services and the University of Pittsburgh. 2013 Recipients of the Pilot Seed Grant were awarded $20,000 to begin their innovative research.

2013 Grant Recipients

​Project Title Principal Investigator​(s) Project Summary​
Investigation of Types of Situations that Trigger Urgency and Leakage in People with Urge Urinary Incontinence​ Becky Clarkson, PhD​ Researchers will study the causes and triggers of urge urinary incontinence by recreating situations during urodynamic studies of the bladder and urethra.​
Role of Telomere and Mitochondria Cross-Talk in Cellular Aging​ Patricia L. Opresko, PhD and Bennett Van Houten, PhD​ In this study, researchers will explore the link between telomere and mitochondria mechanisms and how damage to each contributes to organ decline and disease with aging. ​
Feasibility and Acceptability of Adding Family Components to Evidence-Based Collaborative Care Model for Older Adults with Depression and Chronic Medical Conditions​ Mijung Park, PhD, MPH, RN​ Researchers will conduct personal interviews with a diverse group of older adults with depression, family caregivers, and providers to examine how families can be included in a collaborative depression care program for those with complex health care needs.​
Relationship between Frailty, Falls, and Measures of Mobility, Cognition, and Functional Neuroimaging in Residents of Long-Term Care (LTC) Facilities​ Patrick Sparto, PhD, PT and Susan Greenspan, MD​ Investigators will use portable, novel, and state-of-the-art equipment, including a gait analysis app developed for the iPhone (iGait), to measure strength, muscle mass, cognition, and sway of 20 residents of a long-term care facility. That information in addition to a standard assessment of cognition, function and falls will be used to demonstrate the feasibility of conducting assessments in LTC facilities.​
Communication about Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Decisions in Older Patients with Comorbid Dementia​ Carolyn T. Thorpe, PhD, MPH​ In this study, researchers will examine the decision-making process for treatment of older patients with both Type 2 diabetes and dementia to better understand barriers to controlling blood sugar levels.​

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