University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging

Center Information

Pamela A. Yankeelov, Ph.D.
Director of Research
The UofL Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging
300 E. Market St., Suite 200
Louisville, KY 40202
P: (502) 852 – 5629

Currently Enrolling Trials

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Therapeutic Areas

Cardiology/Vascular Diseases
Family Medicine
Internal Medicine


Established in 2013, the first five years of the UofL Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging have been characterized by dramatic growth and expansion of research and programs. The Institute is led by a strong, interdisciplinary leadership team that is united in their belief that aging is an opportunity, not a disease. Since 2014, the Institute has brought in more than $6 Million in federal grants, provided internships to more than 80 interdisciplinary students and residents, and provided interdisciplinary training experiences to more than a 1,000 interdisciplinary students and professionals. It has also significantly expanded its programming to include a curriculum for the care of older adults, annual conferences, a prestigious award for older adults, awareness campaigns, education series, and other advocacy initiatives.

The University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging empowers older adults to flourish by building collaborative community networks of research, education, innovation, and practice. Our approach to transforming the way we age is unique. Conceptually, we approach aging as an opportunity, not a disease, for both individuals and communities. Functionally, we apply a transdisciplinary approach to all our initiatives, research, and programs in order to break down the silos in the aging field. Our four transdisciplinary core pillars: Research: We conduct and support age-related research across all disciplines to achieve mutual scientific goals.  Education: We develop and promote models of education to share current knowledge of best practices in the field of aging. Innovation: We encourage and expedite urban and rural health care and delivery initiatives, as well as age-friendly product innovation, development and realization. Practice: We provide the most current evidence-based interventions and services to older adults and collaborate with partners to advance aging care.

 For access to our 2017 Annual Report, please Click Here


Performance Metrics

As a transdisciplinary institute at the University of Louisville, we bring researchers and practitioners together for grants and projects and have collaborated with the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Law, College of Public Health & Information Sciences, Speed School of Engineering, College of Education and Human Development, Kent School of Social Work, and College of Dentistry.  Collectively, the University of Louisville has an extensive reach in age-related research as evidenced by its 89 publications and $17 million in grant funding over the last two years, along with its 27 age-related Centers and Institutes.


  • Advance Care Planning
  • Aging and Mental Health
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cardiovascular disease and older adults
  • Caregivers of older adults
  • Cognitive decline, dysfunction, & disorders
  • Chronic Disease Management
  • Dementia
  • Depression and Aging
  • Diabetes and older adults
  • Endocrine System Diseases and older adults
  • End of life care
  • Fall Prevention, Fall safety
  • Frailty
  • Geriatrics
  • Hospice care
  • Polypharmacy
  • Memory loss
  • Metabolic Diseases
  • Muscular Atrophy
  • Neurocognitive Disorders
  • Older Adults
  • Palliative Care
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Sarcopenia
  • Social Interaction


The Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging was established in 2013 under the direction of the Executive Vice President for Health Affairs at the University of Louisville (UofL). The Institute is located near the Health Science Campus in downtown Louisville, and is 2 blocks from the UofL medical and nursing schools.

The Institute is located on 300 East Market Street in the Atria Support Center in a brand-new 8-story office building located in the J.D. Nichols Campus for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. One of the core tenants of the building is Atria Senior Living. The Institute comprises approximately 6000 sq-ft with a reception area, meditative space, library, 9 offices, 3 conference rooms with varying capacity, an open area for large group seminars and workshops and enough shared space to allow students and our working-at-home staff to work comfortably, as needed.



The leaders of the Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging include:

Anna C. Faul, Ph.D., Executive Director

Joe D’Ambrosio, J.D., Ph.D., LMFT, Director of Health Innovation and Sustainability

Christian Furman, M.D., MSPH, AGSF, Medical Director

Pamela Yankeelov, Ph.D., Director of Research

Dr. Faul is a Hartford Scholar, Fellow of the Society for Social Work Research, Research Professor, Executive Director of ISH&OA, and Principal Investigator veteran. She is well trained in older adult efficacy studies and understands the complexities of randomization, group assignment, and fidelity to research protocols. Furthermore, as an advanced statistician, she is well equipped to analyze all the data.

Dr. D’Ambrosio’s clinical work and community-based research is focused on developing innovative evidenced-based clinical health interventions for older adults. He has presented over 50 peer-reviewed national presentations and has co-authored articles on community engagement related to health initiatives, and compassionate love. He has written and worked on grants funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Resources and Health Administration and Passport Health Plan. His interest is in uncovering individual and community strength and resilience that fosters health through intentional and deliberate actions of compassion within the healthcare system and society in general. As a clinician, Dr. D’Ambrosio works with patients and families to find mental health solutions to problems effecting daily life.

Dr. Furman is a Board-Certified Geriatrician whose career is focused on improving the care of older adults through education, research and clinical care. She serves as Interim Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine and Medical Education and has served as the Medical Director for the outpatient geriatric medicine office for ten years. She served as Medical Director of Community Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) for 16 years.

Dr. Yankeelov is trained as an experimental psychologist with the majority of her scholarly pursuits focused on program evaluation specifically in the areas of health care for older adults. She is skilled in quantitative, qualitative, and community based participatory research methods, using objective and self-report clinical outcome measures as well as, univariate, bivariate and multivariate statistics.

Collectively, ISH&OA faculty have focused on alternative, cost-effective care models for older adults with greater patient satisfaction and better health care.

The investigators are supported by the Offices of the Executive Vice Presidents for Research and Health Affairs, including the Associate Dean, a research coordinator, IRB consultant, and Business Center. The Clinical Research Design, Biostatistics and Epidemiology Core (CRDBC) in the Clinical Translational Science Institute and the Clinical Trials Unit provide provides research design consultation and support to investigators.

The Institute manages a participant registry of 100s of older adults and families of older adults. This registry consists of individuals who have volunteered to participate in research and product testing conducted in the field of aging studies. The registry allows the community to become actively involved with studies and innovations that can improve the health and well-being of older adults and their families.  As well, the registry enables such studies and innovations to more quickly reach the populations they are intended to help.

As noted above we also have worked on interdisciplinary research projects with UofL’s Schools of Social Work, Medicine, Nursing, Dental, Counseling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Law, Public Health, and Engineering. We also work closely with Pharmacy School at Sullivan University. 


The Institute consists of 7 staff, 3 community organizers, 36 community health navigators, 2 graduate assistants, and 1 Geriatric and Palliative Medicine Fellow.

 For a full list of staff, please Click Here


The Institute faculty have successfully administered grants from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMS Innovation Center), the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the John A. Hartford Foundation, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and a number of state and local agencies.


We currently work closely with UofL Physicians with particular focus on the following clinics: UofL Family and Geriatric Medicine, UofL Neurology Clinic and UofL AIM Outpatient Clinic.

Contact Center

If you are interested in contacting this center to discuss clinical trials, please complete and send the email form below. A representative from the research center will then follow up with you.