Vision and Mission
Population aging is a global trend. The elderly population in Taiwan is also steadily increasing due to the developments of health care systems and sanitary environment in which reduce population mortality. The elderly in 2006 was accounted for 10% of the total population and is anticipated to reach 37% in 2056. The consequences of population aging are complicated and varied across disciplines, including anti-aging issues, aging-related diseases burden, long-term care, social economic impacts, and social welfare. The ultimate goals of aging research are to facilitate people with ‘graceful living’, ‘gentle aging’, and ‘tolerable deteriorations’. Healthy Aging Research Center, HARC, of Chang Gung University was established to fulfill the goals through exploring aging indices at beginning and subsequently investigating factors associated with aging process. The center strives for the top of the class in aging researches through inter-disciplinary integrations, international collaborations, and from cellular to community approaches. We urge the center to bring positively socioeconomic impacts on future aging society beyond pursuing academic excellence.
A multi-dimensional approach, including sciences, humanities, and managements, was designed to achieve the goal of healthy aging. Strategically, the center facilitates a metabolomics core-lab together with other core-labs, including genomics, proteomics, bio-informatics, and etc. in Chang Gung University to support each component in exploring candidate biomarkers associated with aging. Component projects of the center accomplish and launch the renowned innovations and techniques related to aging research across biomedical imaging, physical function assessment, cognitive and behavioral evaluation, and animal models. The identifications and developments of natural products, intelligence-assisted devices, community interventions, and care models for the elderly are both economics and policy value-added projects for the future aging society. Our vision is to become a world leading research center for healthy aging in the future.
Healthy Aging Research Center is preceded by ‘Longevity Research Center’ of which was founded in 2004. The center integrates intramural resources from Chang Gung University and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. The center transforms successful achievements from Molecular Medicine Research Center (MMRC) in cancer biomarker discovery and translational/clinical applications of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH) into healthy aging researches in 2008. A four dimensional approach, including exploration, prevention, care, and supports, was designed for healthy aging researches from the theoretical perspectives of science, medicine, and management. The exploration dimension aims to construct a more comprehensive assessment model including indicators across molecular and individual levels and their inter-relations (ie. Biomarkers, physical functions, cognitive behaviors, and medical indicators). The prevention dimension aims to construct preventive strategies of aging-related diseases through identifying etiological mechanisms of associated diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. The care and supports dimensions enable the current issues related to socioeconomic systems and care models to be acceptable and available in the sense of tackling health inequalities and system incomprehensiveness. The component projects endeavor themselves to design a multi-factorial integrated delivery system, to develop intelligence-assisted care devices, to identify natural products for the elderly to maintain healthy. Eventually, a well-suited business model and innovative elderly industry may provide solid grounds for the healthy aging of the population.