The mission of the Pepper Research Network on Aging is to promote and foster inclusion of older adults living in the community and across the continuum of care in University of Pittsburgh research studies. Older adults have traditionally been underrepresented in biomedical research, leading to a lack of evidence-based treatment for the population with the highest disease burden. The United States alone is home to over 40 million older adults, and adults over 65 years of age constitute 17% of Allegheny County. Due to aging of the Baby Boomer population and lack of representation of older adults in clinical research, there is a serious ethical obligation to search for advancements in care for this population through research inclusive of all adults, regardless of age and health status.
The PRNA aims to increase scientific knowledge to help maintain or restore independence in older persons by assisting University of Pittsburgh investigators with age-inclusive clinical research through partnerships between long-term care facilities, senior communities, community organizations, University partners, investigators, and physicians.
The PRNA expands knowledge about treatment of older adults through research studies ranging from double-blind clinical trials to qualitative studies about residents’ experiences in long-term care.