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Gerontologist. 2014 Feb;54(1):59-66. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnt049. Epub 2013 Jun 2.

The Duke Center for the Study of Aging: one of our earliest roots.

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  • 1*Address correspondence to Linda K. George, Center for the Study of Aging and Department of Sociology, Duke University, 2932 Welcome Drive, Durham, NC 27705. E-mail:


The Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development (Duke CFA) was established by a multidisciplinary group of visionary scientists in 1955. It is the oldest continually operating center or institute dedicated to aging in the United States. This article outlines the origins of the Duke CFA and summarizes the major research initiatives conducted in its early years. The primary focus is on these landmark studies and their legacies. Those studies made important initial contributions to the knowledge base, introduced measurement tools and research designs that became standards in the field, and served as the impetus for later and current research. The hallmarks of these studies are their multidisciplinary foundations and their focus on the health and well-being of older adults. The Duke CFA's current research clearly builds upon the goals, insights, and empirical results of previous research initiatives. Although aging research is and has been the bedrock of the Duke CFA, developing services responsive to the needs of older adults and multidisciplinary training have also been hallmarks of the Duke CFA. Duke's Geriatric Evaluation and Treatment Clinic was established in 1974 and remains a national model for geriatric assessment. Our postdoctoral research training program has graduated more than 200 scholars and our Geriatric Fellowship program has graduated 113 geriatricians. Many of our graduates have exemplary careers in aging, contributing to important research advances, providing care to thousands of older adults, serving as leaders in the field, and training new generations of gerontologists and geriatricians.


Geriatric assessment; Multidisciplinary research; Normal aging

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