Center on Aging Research Cluster (CoARC)

The Center on Aging Research Cluster (CoARC) is a group of University of Michigan-Flint faculty, who, together with students and collaborators, are engaged in aging-focused research, professional development, and community outreach and engagement. Goals of CoARC are:

Goal 1: Enhance our understanding of physical, cognitive, psychological, and socio-economic problems and issues of older adults living in the local area of Flint, Genesee County, and beyond.

Goal 2: Propose innovative and feasible solutions to the physical, cognitive, psychological, and socio-economic problems and issues of older adults living in the local area of Flint, Genesee County, and beyond.

Goal 3: Enhance faculty and student expertise in aging-related topics.

Goal 4: Conduct engagement and outreach activities to local agencies and centers that serve adults 65 years and older.

Initial funding for the Center on Aging was from the Dr. Ben F. Bryer Foundation.


Current Research

CoARC faculty are engaged in a range of aging-focused scholarly activities. Some of the ongoing aging-focused research is listed below.

  • Factors associated with health and health care/utilization
  • Falls, balance and cognition with aging including older cancer survivors
  • Reducing fall risk and promoting function in the geriatric population
  • Delirium admission protocol in the emergency department
  • Meditation for older adults for stress reduction
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine for pain management and stress reduction in older adults
  • Effects of exercise on mitigating Parkinson’s disease symptoms
  • Developing a mobile application that tracks a range of Parkinson’s disease symptoms
  • Expression of genes that drive metastatic cell behavior in the development of malignant tumors
  • Role of genetic factors in physical performance with aging
  • Identification and intervention for factors associated with health behavior and quality of life among adults and those aging with disabilities.
  • Balance confidence assessment, self-rated health, gait variability, and physical activity with aging
  • Telehealth-based interventions incorporating respiratory exercises to improve function in older adults with chronic neurologic conditions

Research Projects

  • SPICE (Senior Program Intergenerational College Experience) program developed by Dr. Sheryl Groden (SEHS-Social Work) and Drs. Jennifer Blackwood, and Allon Goldberg (CAS-PT), gives college-aged students the chance to learn alongside older adults and promotes an accessible experience for lifelong learning.
  • Drs. Nathan Miller (CAS-Psychology), Charlotte Tang (CIT-Computer Science)  and Linda Zhu (CIT-Engineering) have been collaborating on a mobile application to track a range of Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Track My PD
  • Drs. Nathan Miller (CAS-Psychology) and Charlotte Tang (CIT-Computer Science) have been collaborating with colleagues on the Dearborn campus to design a self-driving vehicle prototype based on the needs of individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Inclusive Design in Shared Autonomous Vehicles for People with Parkinson’s Disease Project
  • Dr. Min Huang, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, and Dr. Donna Fry, Dean of College of Health Sciences, collaborated with colleagues from the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Franklin Pierce University, and The Boston Home on a study showing that patients with multiple sclerosis may benefit from inspiratory muscle training with potential advantages lasting months after therapy ends. This research was funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In MS, Inspiratory Muscle Training Produces Benefits

Members

Allon Goldberg, PT, PhD
Professor & Associate Dean for Research
Physical Therapy Department, College of Health Sciences

[email protected]
Michigan Research Experts | NIH
My research interests focus on examining relationships among commonly used clinical outcome measures of balance, gait/mobility, strength, fear of falling and falls, in older adults. I also explore the role of genetic factors and their interactions with variables such as lower extremity strength and fear of falling in relation to physical performance capabilities, in older adults.

Reza Amini, PhD, MD, MPH
Associate Professor
Department of Public Health & Health Sciences, College of Health Sciences

[email protected]
NIH | ResearchGate
My research focuses on the determinants of health and their impact on health and health care/utilization. I seek to investigate the factors associated with health and health care/utilization and then translate the findings to help policymakers develop programs/policies to improve health outcomes both in the U.S. and Iran. I have examined the risk factors of repeated hospitalization among older adults, cognitive function in particular. Currently, collaborating with the Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy faculty and students, we investigate the risk factors of fall events among older adults. In the next project, I plan to link the results of this study to hospitalization.

Jennifer Blackwood, PT PhD
Geriatric Clinical Specialist
Associate Professor
Physical Therapy Department, College of Health Sciences

[email protected]
Michigan Research ExpertsGoogle Scholar
My research career has focused on aging research, primarily in the areas of falls and balance with special emphasis into the role that cognitive performance has in fall risk and functional mobility in those with mild deficits in cognitive function, including older cancer survivors. Currently working on projects that include intergenerational living and learning, involving both college students and older adults.

Roxanne Buterakos, DNP, RN, PNP-BC, AG-ACNP-BC
Associate Professor
School of Nursing

[email protected]
I am a nurse practitioner with over 25 years of experience. my specialty is adult gerontology acute care with experience in emergency room, trauma surgery (which includes trauma, general surgery, bariatric surgery, neurosurgery, pediatric surgery, burn ICU, neuro-trauma ICU and pediatric ICU) and as a hospitalist. I studied undergraduate nursing at Madonna University, received my MSN from Wayne State University and earned my postgraduate certificate and ENP from Madonna University as well. I am the lead faculty for the adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner specialty track in the DNP program here at U of M Flint. I’ve done much gerontology research  in regard to delirium in the emergency room and in the ICU, I have studied frailty in the geriatric trauma population, and have worked on studies related to geriatrics in skilled nursing facilities. Most of my work impacts the geriatric population and I strive to improve quality of care and quality of life.

Sheryl R. Groden, MSW, PhD
Assistant Professor
Social Work Department, School of Education & Human Services

[email protected]
My research explores different paths to decreasing isolation for older adults, specifically barriers to technology use. My current research  includes exploring internet literacy among older adults in Genesee County and utilizing assistive technology and small group training to improve access in collaboration with Dr. Donna Case from Occupational Therapy and Dr. Michelle Sahli from public health. I am also interested in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for pain management and stress reduction in older adults, the use of meditation for older adults for stress reduction, as well as  social worker-client communication regarding CAM. Many older adults refuse to seek out mental health treatment because of a cultural stigma to mental illness or a different understanding of mental illness and they seek treatment from non-traditional providers. My research highlights the importance for social workers to better understand medical pluralism and the role CAM plays in our clients’ lives.

Min Hui Huang, PT, PhD
Neurologic Clinical Specialist Emeritus
Professor
Physical Therapy Department, College of Health Sciences

[email protected]
Google Scholar | ResearchGate
I have broad clinical and research experiences in mobility, fall risk, and interventions to improve physical function and well-being in the oncology, geriatric, and neurologic populations. My research projects involve U.S. population-based large datasets, cancer survivors and older adults living in the community and neurologic patients in rehabilitation settings. More recently my research centers on telehealth and home-based exercise programs to improve balance and strengths in older adults in rural underserved areas and to enhance respiratory muscle function in older persons with multiple sclerosis. Telehealth and home-based interventions have great potential for delivering cost-effective and patient-centered care. My research findings have demonstrated the effectiveness, feasibility, and prognostic factors of these interventions. I am developing further investigations on innovative interventions in rehabilitation across various populations and settings.

Nathaniel S. Miller, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Behavioral Sciences, College of Arts & Sciences

[email protected]
I am an associate professor of psychology at the University of Michigan-Flint. My research program focuses on understanding how people with Parkinson’s disease use technology and designing technology to help people with Parkinson’s disease. For example, I am collaborating with engineering and computer science faculty to 1) build a mobile app that tracks a range of Parkinson’s disease symptoms and 2) develop a user-centered design for self-driving cars that help transport people with Parkinson’s disease. I am also interested in studying interventions for Parkinson’s disease, such as understanding the effects of exercise on mitigating Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

Joe Sucic, PhD
Professor
Biology Department, College of Arts & Sciences

[email protected]
I am a molecular biologist engaged in two research projects of relevance to the Center on Aging Research Cluster.  One of these projects is a collaborative effort with Dr. Allon Goldberg (Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Physical Therapy, College of Health Sciences, University of Michigan-Flint).  We are examining the relationship between gene variants and physical performance abilities in elderly, community-dwelling adults.  We are considering single nucleotide polymorphism and DNA sequence insertions/deletions present in a number of genes, including those encoding angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and actin 3, and examining if specific genotypes correlate with physical performance phenotypes.   The second project involves examining the expression of genes that drive metastatic cell behavior in the development of malignant tumors.  We are attempting to understand the regulation of a number of genes encoding both proteins and miRNAs that drive metastasis and how the expression of these genes is altered to promote metastatic cell behavior.

Rie Suzuki, PhD
Professor
Department of Public Health & Health Sciences, College of Health Sciences

[email protected]
Google Scholar
My long-term goal is to identify and intervene in the factors associated with health behavior and QOL among adults and those aging with disabilities. As the PI on several grants, I laid the groundwork for the impacts of psycho- and social environments on health behaviors. I am currently examining 1) the environmental factors (e.g., built environment) related to access to care and physical activity and 2) the availability of resources and services to investigate quality of life.

Chad Tiernan, PhD
Assistant Professor
Physical Therapy Department, College of Health Sciences

[email protected]
I earned the PhD in Movement Science at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and completed a postdoc in Geriatrics at Wayne State University. My research focuses on multifactorial investigations into self-rated health (SRH), motor behavior, and falls in older adults. I have several ongoing aging-related projects in the areas of balance confidence assessment, SRH, gait variability, and physical activity. I also have expertise in pediatric research and would like to develop future health- and wellness-related projects involving both children and older adults.

Linda Zhu
Associate Professor of Engineering
College of Innovation & Technology

[email protected]
Google Scholar
I’m an associate professor of engineering at the University of Michigan-Flint. My research interest is in noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH), signal processing, and their bioengineering applications. One research project I am working on is the assessment of Parkinson’s disease symptoms and is a collaboration with Dr. Nathan Miller from Psychology and Dr. Charlotte Tang from Computer Science at UM-Flint. Our goal is to develop a mobile application to assess Parkinson’s disease tremor and other symptoms regularly with cellphone sensors and measuring algorithms, thus tracking disease progress and the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions. The other project is on the diagnosis of tinnitus-related neural activities in the auditory brain structures. This is a collaboration with Dr. Jinsheng Zhang and the Laboratory of Tinnitus and Auditory Neuroscience Research, School of Medicine, Wayne State University. We aim to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of tinnitus by analyzing neural activities in auditory brain structures and presenting the communication across various brain areas, as well as to explore auditory cortex electrical stimulation technology for tinnitus treatment.

Charlotte Tang
Associate Professor of Computer Science
College of Innovation & Technology

[email protected]
Google Scholar | ResearchGate |
My research interests broadly cover the areas of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), and Health Informatics. I am particularly interested in research that addresses the gaps in diversity, equity, and accessibility. My current ongoing research include designing technology to facilitate LGBTQIA+ individuals’ health information and service seeking and their communication with healthcare providers, and collaboration with faculty of Psychology and Engineering to design, build, and evaluate a mobile application for Parkinson’s patients to monitor and track their symptoms, such as tremor, postural stability, and voice.

Donna J Case, PhD
Assistant Professor
Occupational Therapy Department, College of Health Sciences

[email protected]
My research interests focus on how individuals interact with technology across the life span. My current research  includes exploring internet literacy among older adults in Genesee County and utilizing assistive technology and small group trainings to improve access in collaboration with Dr. Sheryl Groden from social work and Dr. Michelle Sahli from public health.  I also am exploring the use of a motorized cart robot that uses AI to move within a home to allow older adults to become or maintain independence and meaningfulness in their desired home environment.


Awards

  • Jennifer Blackwood
    American Physical Therapy Association, Academy of Oncologic Physical Therapy 2019 Research Award
  • Min Hui Huang
    Blue Ribbon Award, American Physical Therapy Association Health Policy and Administration Section. Award provided to the most outstanding work in the area of Social Responsibility presented at the Combined Sections Meeting. Given for the poster entitled “Alpena Empowered Movement Program: An Outcomes Study in a Rural Community” by Doubek A, Huang M, Goldberg A, Chung T. February 2020.

Academy of Oncologic Physical Therapy Research Award. American Physical Therapy Association. Award to recognize those persons whose work has resulted in enduring and outstanding research pertaining to oncologic physical therapy. Given for the research in balance and falls in cancer survivors. 2018.


Publications

  • Amini, R., Kawser, B. (2020): The impact of the interaction between mild and mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment with chronic health problems on hospital admission among community-dwelling older adults. Geriatrics & Gerontology International. doi: 10.1111/ggi.14070 
  • Amini, R., Sahli, M., Ganai, S. (2020): Cigarette smoking and cognitive function among older adults living in the community. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition. doi: 10.1080/13825585.2020.1806199 
  • Blackwood, J., Suzuki, R., & Karczewski, H. (2021 in press). Neighborhood Walkability is Associated with a Recent History of Falls in Urban Dwelling Older Adults. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. 
  • Blackwood J, Rybicki K, Huang M. Cognitive measures in older cancer survivors: an examination of validity, reliability, and minimal detectable change. Journal of Geriatric Oncology. 2021;12(1):146-151.
  • Buterakos, R., & Keiser, M. (in press). Implementing a delirium admission protocol in the emergency department. International Journal of Gerontology.
  • Engle, K., Homsi, M., Suzuki, R., Helvie, K., Adler, J., Plonka, C., & Zimmermann, E. (2021). Newly Diagnosed Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: The Relationship Between Perceived Psychological Support, Health-Related Quality of Life, and Disease Activity. Health Equity, 5(1), 42-48.
  • Gore S, Goldberg A, Huang MH, Shoemaker M, Blackwood J. Validity of the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire in older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.,  Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal. 2020; 31 (4), 159-166.
  • Groden, S & Woodward, A.T., Taylor, R.,& Chatters, L.  Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines for Mental Disorders among Older Adults: differences between pre-boomers and baby-boomers. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2017;25(12):1393-1401.
  • Huang MH. Balance and fall in survivors of cancer. Rehabilitation Oncology. 2021;39(1):4-5.
  • Huang MH, Burnham A, Doyle L, Fry D, Wiske L, Kolanda M, Khitrik E, Goode J, Smith H, Shea K, Houston N. Effects of resistive inspiratory exercise on activity participation, fatigue, and respiratory infections in persons with advanced multiple sclerosis living in a long-term care facility. Journal of Nursing Home Research Sciences. 2020;6:78-81.
  • Martinez, T. and Tang, C. (2021). The impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQIA+ individuals’ technology use to seek health information and services. In Proceedings of the 15th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare, 2021.
  • Miller, N. S., Chou, K. L., Bohnen, N. I., Muller, M. L. T. M. & Seidler, R.D. (2018). Dopaminergic polymorphisms associated with medication responsiveness of gait in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, 48, 54-60.
  • Shuler K, Sucic JF, Talley SA, Goldberg A. Angiotensin-converting enzyme insertion/deletion polymorphism, lower extremity strength, and physical performance in older adults. Physical Therapy. 2019; 99(8): 998-1009.
  • Suzuki, R., McCarthy, M. J., & Ganai, S. (2021 in press). Functional Limitations and Barriers to Care Influence the Likelihood of Adherence to Mammography Guideline. American Journal of Health Behavior.
  • Tang*, C., Chen*, Y., Cheng, K., Ngo, V. and Mattison, J.E. (2017). Awareness and Handoffs in Home Care: Coordination among Informal Caregivers. Behaviour and Information Technology (*Equal contributions), Volume 37, Issue 1, pp. 66-86.
  • Tiernan C, Goldberg A. (2022). The original and short versions of the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale in community-dwelling older adults: Clinical implications based on scale agreement, internal consistencies, and associations with self-rated health. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. doi: 10.1519/JPT.0000000000000345
  • Tiernan, C., Fleishman, H., Hiscox, M., Shaver, S., Stauffer, S., & Thibodeau, P. (2019). Investigating factors related to self-rated health in older adults: A clinical approach using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) model. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, 42(2), 86-97.
  • Zhu, N. & Miller, N. S. (2020). Assessment system for Parkinson’s disease tremor and correlation analysis with applied signal processing algorithms. Journal of Engineering and Science in Medical Diagnostics and Therapy, 3(4), 1-8.
  • L. Zhu, H. Luo, J. Zhang, “Using Time Difference Analysis Algorithms to Measure the Response Time of Rat Auditory Cortex Neurons to Auditory Nerve Stimulation”, Measurement and Control. 55(3-4):126-135. 2022. doi:10.1177/00202940221089242 
  • N. Zhu, H. Luo, and J. Zhang, “Evaluating Auditory Neural Activities and Information Transfer Using Phase and Spike Train Correlation Algorithms,” IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol. 28, (7), pp. 1548-1555, 2020.

Presentations

  • Amini, R. Mild Cognitive Impairment and the likelihood of hospital admission: A longitudinal study. Poster presentation at the American Public Health Association, Annual Meeting. 
  • Amini, R., Ingman, S.R., Swan, J., Tuner, K. (2018). Depressive Symptoms as a mediating factor between External Social Engagement and Health-related Quality of Life. Poster presentation at Healthy Aging Summit.
  • Blackwood J, Amini R, Conti G, Hanses Q, Taylor R, Naimi R, Fayyad D. (2021) Longitudinal Association of Executive Function and Balance in Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Paper presented as a poster at Gerontological Society of America 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting Program Workgroup, Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
  • Blackwood J, Amini R, Conti G, Hanses Q, Taylor R, Naimi R, Fayyad D. (2021) Association of Executive Function and Postural Stability in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Longitudinal Approach. Paper presented as a poster at the International Conference on Frailty and Sarcopenia Research 2021, Virtual, USA.
  • Blackwood J, Karczewski H, Huang M, Pfalzer L. (2020) Katz activities of daily living disability by age, stage and type of cancer. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting. 
  • Blackwood J, Rybicki K, Karczewski H, Huang M, Pfalzer L. (2020). Mobility and cognitive measures in older cancer survivors: Examination of reliability and minimal detectable change. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting. 
  • Carignan, A., Tipp, H., Davis, M., Wu, T., Chou, K., Kotagal, V., Seidler, R. S. & Miller, N. S. (2017). Effectiveness of a Community-Based Bicycling Intervention for Parkinson’s Disease on Motor Symptoms and Quality of Life. Poster presented at the Michigan Physical Therapy Association’s Fall Conference.
  • Cooper, D., Buterakos R., Tith, J., & Lee, S. (2020). Challenges in Post-Hospitalized Transition Care: A Retrospective Chart Review of Nursing Home Residents Diagnosed with Urinary Tract Infection. Poster presentation at 2020 APHA Annual Meeting and Expo.
  • Doubek A, Huang M, Goldberg A, Chung T. (2020) Alpena Empowered Movement Program: A Outcomes Study in a Rural Community. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting. 
  • Ganai S, Suzuki R, Blackwood J, Webster N. (2020) Walkability and Social Ties in Fall Prevention: Lesson learned in recruitment and retention of older adults in Flint. University of Michigan Injury Prevention Center Symposium.
  • Goldberg A, Sucic JF, Shuler K, Talley SA. (2021). ACE genotype interacts with fear of falling in relation to rapid stepping in older adults. Platform presentation at Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association.
  • Goldberg A, Shuler K, Sucic J.F., Talley S.A. (2018). Associations between lower extremity strength and physical performance in community-dwelling older adults: differences among ACE genotype subgroups. Poster presentation at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association
  • .Gore, S., Blackwood, J., Tiernan, C. (2017). Determinants of functional mobility in older adults. (July 2017). 21st IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics.
  • Groden, S. et al, (2020). Meditation and Older Adults in Flint: A Pilot Study.Healthy Flint Research Coordinating Center (HFRCC). 3rdAnnual Research Symposium, Flint, Michigan. Conference canceled due to COVID-19.
  • Groden, S. (2019). Social Worker-Patient Communication Regarding Complementary  and Alternative Medicine.  Poster presented at the Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference.
  • Huang M, Croarkin E, Blackwood J, Hile E, Wampler-Kuhn M, Colon G, Pfalzer L. Oncology Section EDGE Task Force on Cancer: A Systematic Review of Measures of Balance and Falls Risk. (2019) American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting. 
  • Huang M, Blackwood J, Godoshian M, Pfalzer L. (2019) Predicting falls in breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer survivors. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting.  
  • Lee, J., Turney, I., Amini, R., Katz, B., Ajrouch, K., Antonucci, T. (2020) Relationship Quality and Cognition across Ethnic Groups. Accepted for Symposium by Gerontology Society of America Scientific Annual Meeting. 
  • Suzuki, R., & McCarthy, M. J. (2020). Social and environmental risk factors for isolation among older Americans with physical disabilities. Poster presented at the American Public Health Association.
  • Suzuki, R., Blackwood, J., & Webster, N. (2020). Neighborhood walkability among older adults with and without physical disabilities Poster presented at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting.
  • Tiernan C, Goldberg A. (2021). The original and short versions of the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scales in community-dwelling older adults: Clinical implications based on scale agreement, internal consistencies, and associations with self-rated health. Poster at the University of Michigan-Flint’s Center on Aging Symposium: Aging in Flint – Defining Current Concerns.
  • Zhu, N. & Miller, N. S. (2019). Assessment of Parkinson’s disease tremor and correlation analysis with applied signal processing. Paper at The International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition.
  • Zhu, N., Miller, N., Tang, C., Pendyala, S., Hanses, Q. & Gladding, L. (2020, November). Reliability check of an assessment system for Parkinson’s disease tremor monitoring with portable devices. Paper submitted to be presented at The International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition 2021, Virtual Conference, Online, 1-5 November.

Grants

  • Blackwood J. (Principal Investigator)  Predictive Technology Caregiver Engagement and Fall Prevention Platform Pilot Trial. Small Company Innovation Program. 2019.
  • Blackwood J. (Principal Investigator). Perceptions of Neighborhood Walkability, Socialization and Falls in Community Dwelling Older Adults. Summer Undergraduate Research Experience from the C.S. Mott Foundation, The University of Michigan-Flint Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. 2019
  • Blackwood J (Principal Investigator), Suzuki R (Co-Principal Investigator) and Webster N (Co-Principal Investigator). Take a Hike! Aging, walkability and physical function in Flint’s older adults. M-Cubed 3.0. 2019-2021.
  • Buterakos R (Principal Investigator), Cooper D, Lee SY. Accuracy of urinary tract infection (UTI) diagnoses in residents transferred from Emergency Departments (ED)s and back to skilled care facilities. M-Cubed. 2018-2021
  • Case D (Principal Investigator), Groden S, Sahli M, Tremaine W. Digital Divide 2.0: Training Older Adults in the Use of Internet Technology. Center on Aging Faculty Grant. 2022
  • Groden S (Principal Investigator), Case D, Sahli M, Tremaine W. Aging in Genesee County: Where is the Digital Divide? Pilot Study. Center on Aging Faculty Grant. 2021
  • Groden S (Principal Investigator). Meditation for older adults for stress reduction: A pilot study. Michigan Institute of Clinical and Health Research, University of Michigan. 2019-2020
  • Groden S (Principal Investigator), Blackwood J (co-investigator) and Goldberg A (co-investigator). The University of Michigan-Flint Senior Programming: Intergenerational College Experience (SPICE) Program. GSA Seed Grant & RCA Grant. 2020- 2021
  • Huang MH (Academic Partner), Doubek A, Hepburn A (Community Partners). Alpena Empowered Movement Program. Michigan Health Endowment Fund Community Health Impact Grant. 2020-2021.
  • Huang MH (Principal Investigator), Peethambaran G. Predicting Fall Risk, Perceptions, Circumstances, and Consequences of Falls in Community-Dwelling Older Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Prospective Study. Clinical Research Grant. American Physical Therapy Association Academy of Oncologic Physical Therapy Pilot Grant. 2017-2019.
  • Doubek A, Huang M. (Co-Investigator). Alpena Empowered Movement Program: An outcomes study in a rural community. Michigan Physical Therapy Association Institute of Education and Research Large Research Grant. 2018-2019.
  • Zhu, L. (Principal Investigator), Miller, N (Co-Investigator), Tang, C. (Co-Investigator). Using Body Worn Sensors to Measure Movement and Movement Feedback Following Exercise Interventions. Source: University of Michigan (across campuses as part of M Cubed 3.0) Office of Research. 2018-2022
  • Bao S, Miller N (Principal Investigators), Tang, C (Co-Investigator). Inclusive Design in Shared Autonomous Vehicles for People with Parkinson’s Disease Source: UM-Dearborn/UM-Flint Offices of Research. 2022-2023
  • Miller NS. (Principal Investigator). Developing a Parkinson’s Disease Care and Research Network within East Michigan Prosperity Region 6. EDA University Center for Community and Economic Development Research Fund at University of Michigan Flint. 2017
  • Maeda (Center PI); Suzuki R. (Project Principal Investigator). R2b Community inquiry. Rehabilitation Research Training Center on Promoting Healthy Aging for Individuals with Long-Term Physical Disabilities.Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living. 2018-2023

Symposia & Seminars

Track My PD: Developing a Mobile-Phone Application to Track Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms by Nathan Miller
Associate Professor of Psychology, Dr. Nathan Miller gave a seminar on December 7, 2021, describing a mobile application that he and his collaborators are developing, to track motor symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease. In this presentation, Dr. Miller describes the development of the project, reliability and validation studies conducted, and what additional work remains to be conducted. This work is an extension of Dr. Miller’s previous work on cycling as an exercise intervention in people with Parkinson’s disease.

“Cancer, Cognition and Physical Function” by Jennifer Blackwood.
On March 18, 2021, Dr. Jennifer Blackwood, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, gave a 1-hour seminar on Cancer, Cognition, and Physical Function. Dr. Blackwood and her collaborators, which include students, have published studies on this topic in peer-reviewed journals and made presentations around the country. Dr. Blackwood’s work shows that cognitive deficits are found in cancer survivors and are associated with changes in gait, balance, and falls in older cancer survivors.

UM-Flint Center on Aging Symposium
On January 14, 2021 the UM-Flint Center on Aging held its’ first event, a 3-hour virtual symposium titled “Aging in Flint-Defining Current Concerns”. In attendance were approximately 80 faculty and students from the Flint campus, as well as from other academic institutions, foundations and agencies. Chancellor Debba Dutta, and Director of the Center, Allon Goldberg (Associate Dean for Research in the College of Health Sciences) provided opening remarks and welcomed attendees. Dean Donna Fry of the College of Health Sciences, moderated a panel discussion with community leaders from local agencies and senior centers, discussing aging concerns in our local community. This was followed by attendees breaking out into smaller groups to discuss topics, including issues related to needs and support for seniors, financial models for affordable senior living, and the role of senior centers in aging in Flint. This allowed for sharing of ideas and networking. The symposium concluded with research posters highlighting faculty and student research on physical and mental health with aging, and miscellaneous topics related to aging such as biology/genetics, nutrition, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and balance confidence/falling.