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Administrative Unit:Institute on Aging
College/School: School of Medicine and Public Health
Minors and Certificates:Graduate/Professional Certificate


The mission of the Institute on Aging (IOA) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is to promote, through excellence in multidisciplinary research, education, and service, the health and well-being of the rapidly expanding, aging population in the state of Wisconsin, the local community, and society at large. The institute has about 115 affiliates involved in basic and applied research on aging and life course studies, aging-related educational programs, geriatrics clinics or other practice, and community outreach. Affiliates currently represent approximately 45 different programs at the university. Among these are biochemistry, comprehensive cancer center, comparative biosciences, consumer sciences, educational leadership and policy analysis, design studies, engineering, human development and family studies, kinesiology, medicine, nursing, nutritional sciences, ophthalmology, physiology, population health, psychology, social work, sociology, and veterinary science. Increasingly, scientific work connects biomedical and psychosocial aspects of gerontology, thereby helping to explain links between many factors affecting aging. Many current IOA research projects involve multiple disciplines.

The Institute on Aging also offers a distributed doctoral minor with a focus on aging, which is designed to provide advanced study of the psychosocial and biomedical aspects of aging. Students can tailor this program to meet their academic needs. The minor requires a minimum of 10 credits in two or more departments. Psychosocial gerontology courses, which address multiple social and life-span development issues related to aging, are available in a broad range of subjects, such as demography, environmental design, human development and family studies, psychology, social work, and sociology. Biomedical courses address topics such as age-related changes in organ, cellular, and genetic activities; changes in anatomical structure and physiological function of the organism; and health-related issues. This program fulfills the distributed doctoral minor requirement of the Graduate School, and the Institute on Aging awards a certificate to recognize successful completion of the program.

Training Program 

The Biology of Aging and Age-Related Diseases Training Program, which began in 1991, is funded through a grant from the National Institute on Aging; Dr. Sanjay Asthana serves as director. This program's main goal is to train individuals from a wide variety of disciplines and diverse backgrounds to conduct research in the biology of aging. The program currently offers four postdoctoral and five predoctoral training slots. Faculty trainers from diverse departments participate in this program (for more information about program faculty, see Faculty Trainers on the training program website).

For more information: Institute on Aging, 2245 Medical Sciences Center, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-1818; aging@ssc.wisc.edu; www.aging.wisc.edu.