ACTRI Hosts First Life Course Research Seminar and Workshop

Leaders and participants from the Life Course Research Seminar and Workshop

Leaders and participants from the Life Course Research Seminar and Workshop gathered at the ACTRI auditorium on October 25. The front row includes (from left): Rebecca Hardy, PhD, University College London (UCL) and MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing; Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, UC San Diego ACTRI Center for Life Course Director; Linda McEvoy, PhD, UC San Diego; Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, MD, UC San Diego; and Jill Dumbauld, MPH, UC San Diego ACTRI Education Manager. Seminar leaders in the second row are: (far left) Gretchen Bandoli, PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar, UC San Diego ACTRI Center for Life Course Research; (second from left) Andrea LaCroix, PhD, UC San Diego ACTRI Center for Life Course Associate Director; and (fifth from left) Diana Kuh, PhD, UCL and MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing. Photo by: Kyle Dykes.

November 14, 2016 – UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) hosted a two-day seminar on life course research October 24-25 at the new ACTRI building. Led by Diana Kuh, PhD, a world-renowned expert in life course epidemiology, the event drew about 60 academic participants from across the U.S. and U.K. and featured about a dozen speakers, panelists and workshop facilitators.

Life course research investigates the long-term effects of social, behavioral and biologic determinants of disease across the life span or across generations. ACTRI has created a “center” for life course research to incorporate special populations and all age groups into research. It is the first of its kind at UC San Diego and brings together pediatricians, neonatologists, internists, family medicine physicians and geriatrics specialists to study special populations and life course transitions. The center organized the symposium.

“Life course research is a novel approach that is incredibly important as we look at health across the lifespan,” said Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, director of the ACTRI Center for Life Course Research. “We were delighted that Dr. Kuh, one of the preeminent researchers in this field, could lead our first interactive life course seminar and workshop.”

Professor Kuh, as the Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD) at University College London (UCL), has led a cohort study of all 5,362 babies born in the UK over a single week in the Spring of 1946, who have now been studied for over 70 years. Dr. Kuh, along with her colleague Dr. Rebecca Hardy, a professor at UCL and deputy director of the study, covered topics ranging from how childhood socioeconomic environment shapes adult health to healthy aging with a focus on physical and cognitive capability and wellbeing. The two days included lectures on life course epidemiology concepts and models, the historical and interdisciplinary perspective of life course epidemiology, how to apply life course epidemiology to cohort research, and the emerging utility of incorporating biomarkers, -omics and other technologies into understanding the longitudinal course of health and disease. 

The didactic portion of the workshop culminated with a panel discussion involving investigators representing six large U.S. and international longitudinal cohort studies. Panelists engaged in describing the challenges they faced in conducting these studies and where the future lies in life course research. During the interactive workshop on the second day, participants drew on the information provided the first day, and formulated hypotheses to address specific life course outcomes, then proposed how to test their hypotheses and design interventions.

Chambers welcomed the participants and co-facilitated the workshop. In addition to directing the ACTRI Center for Life Course Research, she is co-director of the Center for Better Beginnings and professor of pediatrics and epidemiology in the Departments of Pediatrics and Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego.

Below is the complete list of presenters:

Faculty

Diana Kuh, PhD, FFPH, FMedSci Diana Kuh, PhD, FFPH, FMedSci
Director, Medical Research Council (MRC) Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, and the MRC National Survey of Health and Development; Professor of Life Course Epidemiology, University College London

Professor Kuh is director of the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing and the MRC National Survey of Health and Development, the oldest British birth cohort that has followed over 5,000 individuals since their birth in 1946. She is also the principal investigator of the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course network and co-director of the Integrative Analysis of Longitudinal Studies of Ageing (IALSA), an NIH-funded program that brings together cohort studies to investigate lifetime influences on aging. Professor Kuh is internationally recognized for the advancement of the field of life course epidemiology where she is the author of a broad range of 300 publications and of the acknowledged key texts: “A life course approach to chronic disease epidemiology” (2nd edition Oxford University Press 2004, with Professor Yoav Ben-Shlomo) and “A life course approach to women’s health” (Oxford University Press 2002, with Dr Rebecca Hardy).

Rebecca Hardy, PhD, FFPH

Rebecca Hardy, PhD, FFPH
Program Leader and Deputy Director, Medical Research Council (MRC) Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, and the MRC National Survey of Health and Development; Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, University College London

Professor Hardy’s research investigates how risk factors from across the life course influence cardiovascular aging and development of cardiovascular disease. With a background in statistics, Professor Hardy is also interested in the methodology for the analysis of life course data and for cross-cohort comparisons.


Gretchen Bandoli, PhD
Gretchen Bandoli, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar and Researcher, UC San Diego CTRI Center for Life Course Research and the Center for Better Beginnings, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego
Christina D. Chambers, PhD, MPH Christina D. Chambers, PhD, MPH
Director, UC San Diego CTRI Center for Life Course Research; Co-Director, Center for Better Beginnings; Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, Departments of Pediatrics and Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California, San Diego
Amy Elliott, PhD Amy Elliott, PhD
Senior Director, Center for Health Outcomes and Population Research, Sanford Research; Professor and Co-Division Chief of Pediatrics - Research, Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota
Sheila Gahagan, MD, MPH Sheila Gahagan, MD, MPH
Principle Investigator, Santiago Longitudinal Study; Division Chief, Academic General Pediatrics, Child Development, and Community Health; Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego
Dilip Jeste, MD Dilip Jeste, MD
Director, Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging; Associate Dean for Healthy Aging and Senior Care; Estelle and Edgar Levi Chair in Aging; Associate Director, UC San Diego CTRI Center for Life Course Research; Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego
Andrea LaCroix, PhD Andrea LaCroix, PhD
Director, Women’s Health Center of Excellence; Director, Data Coordinating Center for the Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health (MsFLASH); Associate Director, UC San Diego CTRI Center for Life Course Research; Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California, San Diego
Zeyan Liew, PhD, MPH Zeyan Liew, PhD, MPH
Postdoctoral Scholar and Researcher, Danish National Birth Cohort, University of California, Los Angeles and Aarhus University, Denmark
Linda McEvoy, PhD Linda McEvoy, PhD
Principal Investigator, 12th Research Clinic Visit, Rancho Bernardo Study; Associate Adjunct Professor of Radiology and Epidemiology, University of California, San Diego
Jose Ricardo Suarez, MD, PhD, MPH Jose Ricardo Suarez, MD, PhD, MPH
Principal Investigator, Secondary Exposure to Pesticides among Children and Adolescents Study (ESPINA) and the Study of Persistent Organic Pollutants within the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA); Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California, San Diego