About Us

The Columbia Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Alzheimer's Disease Disparities (CIRAD) provides funding, mentoring, and opportunities for professional development and interdisciplinary collaboration to early career investigators from backgrounds historically excluded in research on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD.) Our goal is to accelerate innovative research on the mechanisms of inequalities in ADRD, including behavioral, sociocultural, and environmental risk and resilience factors, biomarkers, and caregiving.

There are racial and ethnic disparities in ADRD prevalence and incidence, with Black and Latinx people having elevated rates compared with non-Hispanic/Latinx whites. These disparities are likely caused by inequalities in social and structural exposures across the life course. Minoritized populations are more likely to have been exposed to low SES neighborhoods and schools with fewer resources, income inequality, and discrimination in jobs, housing, and policing; . There is evidence that these social inequalities in early and middle life lead to vascular, inflammatory, and neurodegenerative changes, which in turn fuel disparities in cognitive aging and dementia in late life.   

CIRAD solicits innovative pilot proposals that address the fundamental causes of ADRD disparities (racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia), using multiple levels of analysis (environmental, sociocultural, behavioral, biological), and a life course perspective. The goal of CIRAD is to provide sustained mentoring and career development, support for pilot studies, training in health disparities, and interdisciplinary collaboration to CIRAD Scientists and to support and accelerate research on ADRD disparities so that they can be narrowed or eliminated.