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UC Irvine is part of $16 million effort to increase dementia research representation

More Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders sought for studies on aging

UCI’s Joshua Grill is one of three principal investigators for the National Institute on Aging grant that will fund CARE 2.0. Steve Zylius / UCI

UCI’s Joshua Grill is one of three principal investigators for the National Institute on Aging grant that will fund CARE 2.0. Steve Zylius / UCI

August 2, 2023—With a $16 million grant from the National Institute on Aging, the University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Irvine will work with community partners to improve the representation of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander adults in research on aging, caregiving, and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

The new project builds on a previous effort by academic leaders and a large variety of community-based organizations with strong ties to the AANHPI population. The Collaborative Approach for AANHPI Research and Education successfully established a recruitment registry of more than 10,000 AANHPI individuals willing to consider participating in research studies. Also funded by the National Institute on Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health, CARE employed culturally and linguistically sensitive techniques, including enrollment in five different languages, and tested specific recruitment methods across diverse communities.

The new, five-year effort will be known as CARE 2.0 and will leverage lessons from the original CARE project to recruit another 10,000 AANHPI individuals with greater geographic representation across the U.S. and even greater inclusion of various AANHPI communities via more AANHPI languages. In addition, CARE 2.0 aims to better understand the barriers to and facilitators of representation of diverse AANHPI in aging research.

The project is led by three principal investigators: Van Ta Park, professor of community health systems at the UCSF School of Nursing; Janice Tsoh, professor of psychiatry at the UCSF School of Medicine; and Joshua Grill, professor of psychiatry & human behavior and neurobiology & behavior at UCI. Grill is also director of UCI’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, which is Orange County’s leading center for research on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

“CARE’s mission is to meaningfully include AANHPI in clinical and health-related research. We strive to achieve this through collaborations with academic and community partners who are trusted sources of information for the communities. We are excited to strategically expand CARE to reach more diverse AANHPI populations, particularly persons with limited English proficiency,” Park said.

“CARE 2.0 represents a groundbreaking leap toward advancing research recruitment and retention science, particularly in engaging AANHPI communities. Overcoming the challenges of diverse participant engagement is vital for research success,” Tsoh said. “With CARE 2.0, we eagerly anticipate exploring culturally appropriate strategies and unveiling new insights into study engagement decisions from both participant and researcher standpoints. Together, we pave the way for transformative discoveries benefiting us all.”

Added Grill: “The recent reports of clinical trials demonstrating the effectiveness of disease-slowing treatments for Alzheimer’s offer inadequate information about how treatments work in diverse communities, at least for some of the trials. This emphasizes the need for efforts such as CARE 2.0. We are particularly excited about partnering with other NIA-funded networks, such as the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers and the Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Consortium, to improve the representation of AANHPI communities in these critical research initiatives.”

UCI’s Brilliant Future campaign: Publicly launched on Oct. 4, 2019, the Brilliant Future campaign aims to raise awareness and support for UCI. By engaging 75,000 alumni and garnering $2 billion in philanthropic investment, UCI seeks to reach new heights of excellence in student success, health and wellness, research and more. The Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders plays a vital role in the success of the campaign. Learn more by visiting