Aging Research Centre established

From the time we are born, we begin to age. The Aging Research Centre (ARC-NL), located at Grenfell Campus with a satellite office in St. John’s, is focused on how we age, and which factors affect us.

The new centre is bringing together researchers on aging like Dr. Les Cake, honorary research professor at Grenfell Campus, as well as experts from around the province and beyond to facilitate partnerships and catalyze new research initiatives in the area of aging in the province and in small-town, rural and remote communities more broadly.

Currently the centre, which opened December 2018, has a total of 32 research members, 12 community members and 10 student members, and has set up the ARC-NL Research Participant Database for anyone who would like to be a research subject.

“We’ve partnered with the Newfoundland & Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research’s Research Exchange Group on Aging, which has more than 100 members that meet monthly for research presentations,” said Dr. Karen Doody, manager of the centre, adding that the centre is planning a conference for spring 2020.

It’s an exciting time for ARC-NL, having issued a funding call for five research grants up to $10,000 as well as graduate fellowships and will award those in June 2019. Disciplines interested in applying included medicine, psychology, chemistry, biology, nursing, environmental policy, social work and pharmacy, all focusing on aspects of aging in Newfoundland and Labrador; applications were received from as far away as Norway.

Drs Les Cake, Veronica Hutchings, Karen Doody and Kelly Vodden

Engaging with other aging centres will be key as the organization moves forward. Dr. Doody and Dr. Veronica Hutchings, director of ARC-NL, are applying to chair a symposium through the Canadian Association on Gerontology with other smaller aging researcher centres.

“The centre will play a critical role in Newfoundland and Labrador, where a rapidly aging population is one of the highest proportions of individuals over the age of 65 in its population in all of Canada,” said Dr. Jeff Keshen, VP, Grenfell Campus.