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Bringing inclusion to aging research

Bringing inclusion to aging research

October 11, 2023 at 9:00am

Lack of diversity in clinical trials has cascading societal implications. It’s a problem that poses serious questions about whether new treatments or lifesaving therapies are safe, effective and benefit everyone, especially populations disproportionately impacted by chronic diseases.

Today, diverse older adults remain one of the most underrepresented groups in aging research.

FIU nurse scientist Trudy Gaillard is on a mission to flip this script by changing the demographic of research participation. She leads a National Institute on Aging- funded study with a collaborative team from FIU, the University of Florida and University of Central Florida to answer an important question: Exactly how do you ensure diverse older adults become research participants?

The team held listening sessions with 361 diverse older adults and their family members to find out. Participants shared valuable insights and voiced a variety of concerns, including the fact they were rarely approached about opportunities to participate in research. Even if they wanted to help advance knowledge about diseases that were likely to impact their children and grandchildren, they didn’t know where to begin.

To remove this barrier, Gaillard and the team are creating an online statewide registry where older adults who are ready to participate in aging research can find available clinical trials.


Trudy Gaillard

Dr. Vanessa Von Wertheim Endowed Chair in Chronic Disease Prevention and Care, Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences

“If you don’t have inclusion of all racial groups in drug trials, it may be your medications only work with one population as opposed to another.”