In 1983, the UCSD School of Medicine became the first campus in the University of California system to have an Organized Research Unit (ORU) focused on aging - namely, the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging (renamed in 1992, thanks to a generous, endowed gift made by the Stein family). Jarvis Edwin Seegmiller, M.D. was the founding Director of this ORU. The long-term goal of the Stein Institute was to promote interdisciplinary programs concerning the basic biology of senescence, the role of free radicals and other environmental toxins in the aging process, and the pathophysiology of age-related illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, atherosclerosis, and cancer. In addition to supporting research, the Institute was organized to foster training and education in geriatrics and gerontology.
Over the past 35 years, the Stein Institute has brought together a critical mass of scientific talent, encouraged and funded age-related research (including over 85 pilot grants), purchased needed scientific equipment, supported the education of more than 150 students, and provided over 300 public lectures on aging as part of its general community outreach. Today, the Stein Institute for Research on Aging is advancing aging research at the UCSD School of Medicine by conducting basic and clinical research, enhancing collaboration among UCSD's world-renowned scientists, and attracting new researchers to the field - all with the ultimate objective of helping more people age successfully.
In 2014, UC San Diego Health Sciences created The Center for Healthy Aging, which now serves as an umbrella organization for all aging-related programs at UC San Diego and expands upon the work of the Stein Institute for Research on Aging. Its focus extends beyond medical research to address the major challenges facing our society as it prepares to accommodate a rapidly expanding demographic of older adults—in terms of technology, finances, housing, transportation and urban planning.