About Us

The Center for Demography of Health and Aging (CDHA) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is one of twelve demography of aging centers funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Since its founding in 1999, CDHA has received continuous infrastructure support from NIA, in addition to generous university support from UW’s College of Letters & Science and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Graduate Research and Education.

Under the leadership of Michal Engelman, CDHA supports research and graduate training relating to the demography, economics, and epidemiology of aging in five primary thematic areas:

  • Aging and the life course;
  • Biodemography;
  • Determinants disparities of aging trajectories;
  • Health economics and health services research; and
  • Impacts of place on aging processes.

The Center provides an intellectual community to nearly 100 faculty affiliates from over 20 departments on campus who are engaged in research relating to the core themes. Together, this exceptional group of scholars has helped CDHA play an important role in extending aging research in new directions.

CDHA is enriched by its close relationship with other units on the UW campus, including the Center for Demography and Ecology (CDE) and the Initiative in Social Genomics (ISG). CDHA and CDE enjoy a long-established collaboration with roughly half of affiliates having membership with both centers. Additionally, CDHA and CDE jointly administer a graduate training program for nearly 50 graduate students from departments across campus, including sociology and population health sciences.

The Initiative in Social Genomics brings together UW researchers to study the interactions between genes and the environment. ISG is led by eight core faculty members who are all CDHA affiliates. Many graduate students in the training program also participate in ISG-led research and seminar events.

CDHA’s interdisciplinary and collaborative approach help make it an exciting environment that supports researchers at all stages of their careers produce important work on the health and aging of populations.