About the Center for Healthy Aging Research


Center for Healthy Aging Research

Megan MacDonald, Ph.D..

Emily Ho, Ph.D.

CHAR Co-Director

   Faculty profile

Suzanne C. Segerstrom, PhD, MPH

Suzanne Segerstrom, PhD, MPH

CHAR Co-Director

   Faculty profile

Our world is aging. The number of people age 60 and older is projected to double from 550 million in 1996 to 1.2 billion by 2025. Within this phenomenon lie opportunities and challenges from the molecular to societal levels. The Center for Healthy Aging Research (CHAR) is a community of Oregon State University scholars committed to investigate and unleash the potential of older adults. Established in 2005 as one of Oregon State University’s strategic investment initiatives, CHAR has planned, coordinated and conducted collaborative, multidisciplinary studies designed to optimize the health and well-being of aging individuals and their families.

The center has attracted many of Oregon State’s most innovative scientists. Researchers from multiple academic departments, units and centers collaborate in aging research. CHAR also promotes high-quality professional programs in health care, housing and social support for the aging population with a focus on interdisciplinary efforts.

Researchers affiliated with the center are organized into four interrelated, interdisciplinary cores: Diet and Genetics Core, Musculoskeletal Core, Population, Social and Individual Health Core, and Gerontechnology Core. Uniting these perspectives, CHAR is uniquely poised to revolutionize the science of healthy aging. 

The center supports a registry of volunteers, known as the “LIFE Registry,” which invites Oregon residents age 50 and older to participate in and learn about our healthy aging research.

The center is committed to expanding, translating and disseminating knowledge of the science of aging. There are numerous opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to learn about aging and receive training in scientific procedures related to their disciplines. From collaborative research to research colloquia, students experience the science of aging in an interdisciplinary context. As a vital part of Oregon’s land grant university, CHAR delivers the practical implications of research findings to citizens through Extension specialists and field faculty. The center allows for the sustaining coordination of efforts designed to go beyond individual research agendas and to enhance interdisciplinary research at Oregon State University, enhancing the lives of all Oregonians and worldwide societies.