A new ageing research institute has been established at UNSW as one of four cross-disciplinary centres focused on finding solutions to major social and scientific challenges.

Professor Kaarin Anstey

CEPAR chief investigator Professor Kaarin Anstey will head the Ageing Futures Institute, which she says will conduct cross-disciplinary research designed to translate into health, fiscal and social policy on both a national and international level.

The institute will be formally launched on Wednesday.

Professor Anstey says it’s hoped the research will inspire communities and governments to view ageing positively and to adopt policies and technologies conducive to ageing well, as well as reducing the social, health and economic burdens of an ageing society.

“We will achieve this by taking a life course approach to ageing which views late life as the accumulation of advantage and disadvantage from birth to death … and we will generate transformative new ideas about ageing,” she said.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at UNSW Professor Nicholas Fisk said the pan-university institute would provide a framework to bring together the work that is already being done at UNSW in ageing, from dementia to superannuation.

Unlike most ageing research centres, which focus on a specific area, the futures institute will take a multidisciplinary approach, Professor Fisk said.

It will draw on research as diverse as psychology, psychiatry, public health, economics, the built environment, human rights, economics and social policy and collaborate with existing bodies including the Centre for Healthy  Brain Ageing, the Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing, Neuroscience Australia and the George Institute for Global health

The four institutes are part of the University’s Futures initiative. The other three will focus on genomics, sustainable energy and materials and manufacturing.

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