University of Wisconsin–Madison

Pilot Projects

Through the center grant from the National Institute on Aging, CDHA is able to provide financial support to affiliates who are developing innovative projects likely to receive federal funding.

Current Projects

Aging through a Nutrition Transition: The Effects of Early-Life Scarcity on Later-Life Health

PI: Jenna Nobles, Associate Professor, Sociology
Abstract: In the last few decades, a dietary shift from locally grown staples to mass-produced, shelf-stable calorically dense foods has increased cardiovascular health risk in aging populations around the world. This project uses data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS) to measure childhood nutritional conditions and health-trajectories at older ages. It provides an empirical test on the global nutrition transition and the effects of early life scarcity on later life health.

Who Enjoys An Immigrant Health Advantage? Nativity, Race/Ethnicity, and Population Health Patterns

PI: Michal Engelman, Assistant Professor, Sociology
Abstract: This pilot examines the health of America’s diverse foreign-born population in the context of the nation’s racial/ethnic disparities. The National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS) data is used to study whether and how socioeconomic characteristics, health behaviors, and incorporation experiences of immigrants contribute to their health outcomes.

The Social Epigenomics of Health Disparities: How Different Dimensions of Disadvantage Get Under the Skin

PI: Kristen Malecki, Assistant Professor, Population Health Sciences
Abstract: This pilot project uses the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW) data to study how individual characteristics and neighborhood-level contextual characteristics operate independently and jointly to shape health disparities through epigenetic mechanisms that accelerate biological aging. It employs DNA methylation array data to test the hypothesis that differences in biological aging exist across socio-demographically matched subpopulations.