BOSTON — Hebrew SeniorLife’s Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research has announced the establishment of the Interventional Studies in Aging Center (ISAC), the mission of which will be to develop and support clinical trials and intervention studies preserving and improving the health and quality of life of older individuals.
Under the direction of Susan Mitchell, M.D., M.P.H., and Thomas Travison Ph.D., the center will stimulate the methodology and rigor of potentially high impact clinical trials in aging, with particular focus on non-pharmacological interventions tested using cluster and/or pragmatic trial designs. The center will support all types of trials with a particular focus on those that include diverse older patients with comorbid conditions, who are often excluded from more typical clinical trials. The trials will also take place in more “real world” settings such as senior living communities, or nursing homes.
Susan Mitchell, Co-Director of ISAC said, “Clinical trials are important to the advancement of health care because they are considered the gold standard of research methodology to test whether a specific intervention works or not. In classic clinical trials, they typically pick relatively healthy patients. At ISAC, we want to test our interventions on real, older adults with other diseases and conditions, such as, diabetes. In other words, we’re testing these interventions on patients as they are, and in settings in which they typically receive care.”
Thomas Travison, also Co-Director of ISAC added, “What’s unique about ISAC is that we are part of Hebrew SeniorLife, and located inside Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, and we have a diversity of applications across different projects, ranging from the Aging Brain Center, to palliative care, to musculoskeletal health and beyond. We have tremendous expertise inside the organization that ISAC can take advantage of, and interface with, in order to complete projects that affect all different aspects of the lives of older adults. We want to be sure that in this period of history, where a much higher percentage of the population will be older than in the past, that modern health science addresses the needs of older adults.”
Ms. Ellen G. McCarthy, M.P.H. has recently joined as ISAC’s Project Director. She plans to focus efforts on ensuring smooth trial implementation, providing study staff with focused training and maximizing teamwork and collaboration.
About the Marcus Institute
Scientists at the Marcus Institute seek to transform the human experience of aging by conducting research that will ensure a life of health, dignity and productivity into advanced age. The Institute carries out rigorous studies that discover the mechanisms of age-related disease and disability; lead to the prevention, treatment and cure of disease; advance the standard of care for older people; and inform public decision-making. The Musculoskeletal Center within the Marcus Institute studies conditions affecting bone, muscle, and joint health with aging.
About Hebrew SeniorLife
Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is a national senior services leader uniquely dedicated to rethinking, researching and redefining the possibilities of aging. Founded in Boston in 1903, the nonprofit, non-sectarian organization today provides communities and health care for seniors, research into aging, and education for geriatric care providers. For more information about Hebrew SeniorLife, visit http://www.hebrewseniorlife.org, follow us on Twitter @H_SeniorLife, like us on Facebook or read our blog.