Regenstrief research scientists Christopher Callahan, M.D., and Alexia Torke, M.D., will play a key role in a major nationwide effort to improve healthcare and quality of life for people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. The project, funded by the National Institute on Aging, will create a massive collaborative research incubator to develop trials aimed at evaluating interventions for the disease that affects more than 5 million Americans.
The research incubator, called the NIA Imbedded Pragmatic AD/ADRD Clinical Trials (IMPACT) Collaboratory, is part of a five-year, expected $53.4 million grant being led by researchers at Brown University and Boston-based Hebrew SeniorLife. The collaboration is composed of eight working groups comprising experts from more than 30 research institutes, including Regenstrief Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine and Eskenazi Health.
The first objective of the project is to fund and provide expert assistance to as many as 40 pilot trials testing care-based, non-pharmacological interventions for people living with dementia. The second objective is to develop best practices for implementing and evaluating interventions and share them with the research community at large.
Drs. Callahan and Torke will lead the Training Core.
"The number of people who suffer from Alzheimer's is only going to grow," said Dr. Callahan, Training Core leader and research scientist at the Indiana University Center for Aging Research at Regenstrief Institute. "We must develop solutions to improve the quality of care and quality of life for these people. Training the researchers who will ask and answer these questions will play a pivotal role in the success of this project, and I am thrilled to be a part of this meaningful collaboratory."
The responsibilities of the Training Core include developing, funding and coordinating a two-year junior career development award program to train researchers to conduct embedded pragmatic clinical trials in persons living with dementia, providing training activities, and integrating trainees into the collaboratory's academic activities. These scientists will play a key role in advancing research to help those living with dementia.
"This grant will revolutionize the national infrastructure for research into how care is delivered to people living with dementia and their caregivers," said Vincent Mor, PhD, co-leader of the collaboration and a professor of health services, policy and practice at Brown's School of Public Health. "The key is figuring out how to take an idea that worked in an ideal situation and adapt it so it can be piloted in the messy real-world system of care providers that exists across the U.S."
The IMPACT Collaboratory is funded by NIA grant U54AG063546.
About Regenstrief Institute
Founded in 1969 in Indianapolis, the Regenstrief Institute is a local, national and global leader dedicated to a world where better information empowers people to end disease and realize true health. The Regenstrief Institute, a key research partner to Indiana University, and its researchers are responsible for a growing number of major healthcare innovations and studies. Examples range from the development of global health information technology standards that enable the use and interoperability of electronic health records to improving patient-physician communications, to creating models of care that inform practice and improve the lives of patients around the globe.
Regenstrief Institute is celebrating 50 years of healthcare innovation. Sam Regenstrief, a successful entrepreneur from Connersville, Indiana, founded the institute with the goal of making healthcare more efficient and accessible for everyone. His vision continues to guide the institute's research mission.
About Christopher Callahan, M.D.
In addition to his role at Regenstrief, Dr. Callahan is chief research and development officer at Eskenazi Health and a professor at the IU School of Medicine.
About Alexia Torke, M.D.
Dr. Torke is a research scientist at the IU Center for Aging Research at Regenstrief, associate chief for the IU School of Medicine Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and an associate professor. She is also the director of the Evans Center for Spiritual and Religious Values in Healthcare.