Scott M. Lynch, Professor of Sociology, has been awarded a five year Center Grant funded by the Division of Social and Behavioral Research of the National Institute of Aging, securing ongoing support for the Center for Population Health and Aging (CPHA) at Duke. With a legacy that extends well over four decades, CPHA provides a synergistic, interdisciplinary environment for advancing cutting-edge research and cultivating faculty and students focused on the study of aging through network of population scientists from the social and behavioral sciences and the biological, health, and statistical sciences at Duke.
Lynch assumes leadership of CPHA from Angela O’Rand, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, who has also served as the Director of the Duke Population Research Center (DUPRI) and formerly held the post of Dean of the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. As the CPHA Director, Lynch is joined by Avshalom Caspi, Edward M. Arnett Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, as the Center’s Development Core Director, Jenny Tung, Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology, who leads the External Network Core, and Joseph V. Hotz, Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Economics, as the Director of the External Research Resources and Dissemination Core.
The Center has three major intellectual commitments in the overlapping areas in: (1) the Biodemography of health and aging, especially regarding how biological, environmental, social and behavioral factors interact across time and species to influence the process and pace of aging; (2) Life course processes that reflect the interaction of biological, environmental (including early childhood and adolescent environments), and social and behavioral factors including heterogeneous trajectories of mental and physical health and disability as individuals age across diverse subpopulations; and (3) Intergenerational relationships that shape the transmission of social well-being and health.
In pursuit of these research priorities, CPHA will continue to promote innovation in data collection, data linkage and data analysis with support of innovative research projects that reflect integrative science and encourage new approaches across disciplines. The Center will carry on its tradition of fostering collaborations with regional, national and international institutions to provide sustained synergistic linkages. Focal areas for collaboration will include biosocial and cross-species (human and nonhuman primate) studies of the effects of social adversity on morbidity and longevity, and the rapid design and testing of methods to strengthen data collection and measurement in rural aging and in cognition to disseminate to a wider community of practice in the use of such approaches.