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New Rutgers Resource Center Hosts Retreat

RCASIA Retreat Highlight

Dinesh Mendhe


February 1, 2024

Media Contact

Dinesh Mendhe

The Resource Center for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research in Asian and Pacific Americans (RCASIA) hosted their annual retreat in December in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, working in collaboration with New York University (NYU), received more than $4.2 million in funding from the National Institutes on Aging (NIA) to develop RCASIA. The center’s goal is to use the five-year grant to advance behavioral, social and economic research related to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias especially in older Asian and Pacific Americans.

The center represents a joining of forces by experts in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD)-related behavioral, social, and economic research from Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, NYU Rory College of Nursing, NYU Langone Grossman School of Medicine, and City University of New York – Hunter College.

The speakers were introduced by RCASIA M-PI’s, William Hu, MD, PhD, FAAN, Associate Professor and Chief of Cognitive Neurology, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Bei Wu, PhD, FGSA, FAGHE, FAAN, Vice Dean for Research and a Dean’s Professor in Global Health, NYU’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

Bioethics discussion with Monica Magalhaes, PhD, Associate Director, Rutgers University’s Center for Population-Level Bioethics.

Informed consent discussion with Karen Lin, MD, MS, Professor of Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, the Associate Dean for Global Health, Director of Center for Healthy Families and Cultural Diversity at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

CLRC Leads: Chau Trinh-Shevrin, DrPH, Professor, Departments of Medicine and Population Health, Director, Division of Health and Behavior and Vice Chair for Research, NYU Grossman School of Medicine; and Cui Yang, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy, Rutgers School of Public Health

CLRC Co-I’s: Keith Chan, PhD, LMSW, Associate Professor, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College; and Emerson Ea, APRN, DNP, FAAN, PhD, Clinical Professor, Associate Dean, and Clinical and Adjunct Faculty Affairs, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing

Data Core Lead: Stephen Crystal, PhD, Director, Center for Health Services Research at Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, Distinguished Research Professor and Board of Governors Professor, Rutgers School of Social Work

Data Core Co-I: Donald Hoover, PhD, MPH, Professor, Rutgers Department of Statistics

REC Leads: Mary S. Mittleman, DrPH, Research Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Research Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, NYU Grossman School of Medicine; and Melissa A. Simon, MD, MPH, Professor & Vice Chair for Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director, Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM) – Center for Health Equity Transformation, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine

REC Co-I: Emily A. Greenfield, PhD, Professor, Rutgers School of Social Work and Director, Rutgers Hub for Aging Collaboration

“Improving Health Outcomes for Asian Americans with Co-Occurring Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias” – Brad Kamitaki, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

“Longitudinal cognitive trajectories in older U.S. Chinese: dissociating racial, cultural, and environmental influences” – Michelle Chen, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Core Faculty Member, Rutgers Institute for Health

“Leveraging Continuous Glucose Monitoring to Reduce Care Burden for Older Chinese Americans with Type 2 Diabetes and Mild AD/ADRD” – Yaguang Zheng, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing

“A qualitative study to inform the cultural adaptation of an existing decision aid intervention for Chinese American dementia caregivers in feeding-related decision-making” – Yaolin Pei, PhD, Research Scientist, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing

The theme of People, Culture, Place, and Time reflects the NIA Health Disparities Framework, and leverages the two MPIs’ history of collaboration in the prior traditional RCMAR as well as their individual expertise in broader AD/ADRD health disparities, linguistic and culturally appropriate cognitive neuroscience, NYC-based Asian immigrant behavioral and cultural issues, care- and care partner-related research, and China-based longitudinal health and cognition studies.

New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area has one of the largest Asian and Pacific American populations in the country. Although Alzheimer’s and related dementias are the fastest growing non-COVID related causes of death in the aging, language and cultural barriers have resulted in a limited understanding of how Alzheimer’s and dementia manifest in Asian Americans

RCASIA is the first NIH-funded center focused on Alzheimer’s and dementia research in New Jersey and the first NIA Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) focused on Alzheimer’s and dementia in Asian and Pacific Americans.