OAIC Pepper Centers: Part of a National Network

Why are we named Pepper?

Claude D. Pepper was a late senator and congressman from Florida who worked tirelessly to advocate for older adults. He was known as the "Spokesman for the Elderly" and championed the goal "to lighten the load on those who suffer." Through his efforts, he left a legacy that continues to benefit generations of Americans, strengthening Medicare and the Social Security System.

Through the impact of Pepper's work, Congress had passed legislation for NIH to establish the Geriatric Research and Training Centers, which later changed to the Claude D. Pepper Older American Independence Centers (OAIC) program. The overarching goal of this program is to increase scientific knowledge about aging and to find ways to restore independence in older persons.

To read more about his work, please visit the link below:

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"Florida Senator". Portrait by Marshall Bouldin III of Pepper in the Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives



Part of the National OAIC Pepper Center Network

Image from the OAIC National Coordinating Center

Funded by the NIA through a P30 grant, our UCSF Pepper Center is one of 15 OAIC Pepper Centers across the nation. Each serves as the foci of geriatric health research. Each center is dedicated to furthering the advancement in our understanding of aging and all support young researchers, especially those from underrepresented populations.

In addition to conducting their own studies and supporting young researchers, the Pepper Centers often collaborate with each other and other types of centers in larger projects in the fashion of the founder to continue to "lighten the load of those who suffer." Serving as the central hub of our Pepper Centers, the OAIC National Coordinating Center hosted by the Wake Forest University School of Medicine facilitates these collaborations across universities and organizations.