Research Studies

The Institute seeks to be on the cutting-edge of optimal aging and sustainable health research. We seek to be a life-long learning organization that never stops asking questions. Specifically our research is guided by the following goals: 

  1. Continually improve our understanding of healthy aging, diseases, and disability among older adults.
  2. Continue to develop and disseminate information about interventions to reduce disease and disability and improve the health and quality of older adults. 
  3. Improve our understanding of and develop interventions to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias of aging, and the aging brain. 
  4. Improve our understanding of the consequences of an aging society and provide that information to inform intervention development and policy decisions.
  5. Improve our ability to reduce health disparities and eliminate health inequalities among older adults. 

We invite you to explore how you can become involved! Contact us if you would like to learn more about a particular study. 

To view the currently funded grants being overseeing by the Institute, Click Here.

Baptist Hospital VeggieRx Winter Fresh Top Study 

The Institute is conducting research in collaboration with Baptist Hospital on a Complete Health Improvement Program that Baptist is providing to a number of its patients at a primary care office in South Louisville.


Baptist Hospital Behavioral Health Study

The Institute is conducting research in collaboration with Baptist Hospital on an intervention protocol for older adults suffering from alcoholism. The program is being offered at the Baptist Hospital Behavioral Health Clinic to patients that are suffering from alcoholism. The role of the Institute is to evaluate the intervention protocol.


Compassionate Louisville Project

The Institute is managing a city-wide study that will provide the metrics to measure compassion in the city. This project is being supported by the City of Louisville. Also, the Institute hosts the science constellation for academics, businesses and interested citizens on compassion research. 


Institute Scholar Program

The Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging has developed a Faculty Scholar Program to support research in aging. To be included, scholars must have a proven record of scholarship in aging and show that they are passionate about transforming the aging paradigm. 

Meet Our Faculty Scholars
Faculty Scholar Application

Memory Wellness Engagement Program

The study has two main goals.
Goal 1: To teach PWD the skill of autonomy and self-identity through a variety of engagement activities.
Goal 2: To teach caregivers how to develop strategies that can improve autonomy and self-identity of the PWD.

It is hypothesized that after the implementation of the MWE pilot, the following will be true for the PWD and their caregivers:

H1) Improvement in autonomy and self-identity of PWD will significantly reduce stress levels of PWD; 
H2) Caregiving that is more aligned with the values and preferences of the PWD, will significantly reduce burden and stress levels of caregivers. This project uses salivary testing integrating biological methods into Institute projects.

Click Here to Learn More
Download the Pilot Informational Flyer

Optimal Aging Study

This study looks at the qualities of older adults who have been nominated for the Optimal Aging Award. It is conducted upon request from Dr. Wright and examines the following questions:

1) What factors contribute to older adults’ ability to optimally age?
2) Do influences throughout the life of the older adult contribute to their optimal aging?
3) Do one’s civic, social, spiritual, and creativity levels contribute to optimal aging?
4) Do factors such as family engagement, civic involvement, occupational success, life satisfaction, and vitality contribute to optimal aging? 


Participant Registry

The participant registry is a research participant database that prospectively collects information on adult volunteers aged 50 years or older. The registry is used in a two distinct ways:

1) To provide researchers, both internally and externally to the University with available samples of older adults for the purposes of conducting clinical and social behavioral research and
2) To provide businesses and entrepreneurs with a way to enlist volunteer participants in the process of product or service testing of items specifically geared towards the older adult population.

Establishing a participant registry to identify potential volunteers for research is a sustainable strategy to increase older adult’s participation in research and product development targeting this particular population. 

Enroll Today!
Click Here to Learn More

Veggie Rx

This project is an ongoing project to connect older adults with prescriptions for vegetables and fresh fruits. The project is being carried out with New Roots who manages the Fresh Stop Project and is funded by the Humana Foundation.

The purpose of this project is:
1) to examine the effects of fresh foods on the health outcomes of adults in local communities;
2) to assess and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of providing access to fresh fruit and vegetables to patients who present to medical practices as patients who could benefit from participation in such a program.