Pepper Center - About

Pepper Center

Since 2013, the UCSF Pepper Center has developed, supported, and mentored an interdisciplinary community of investigators whose discoveries have enhanced the understanding of disability and functional decline in older adults.

Our Mission

patient receiving care

We believe that successful aging encompasses having a good quality of life regardless of one’s medical conditions and functional impairments. We seek to understand the needs of the millions of older persons who need our help right now, whether because of complex medical circumstances or because of adverse social circumstances.

Our Center supports researchers who share our passion for improving the well-being of older persons. We view our resources as venture capital to catalyze the careers and research paths of investigators who will do cutting edge research that advances the care, health, and wellbeing of older persons, both within the UCSF community and nationally. 

Why are we named Pepper?

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


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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OAIC Pepper Center Network

Funded by the NIA through a P30 grant, the UCSF Pepper Center is one of 14 OAIC Pepper Centers, that each serve 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 fashion of the founder to continue to "lighten the load of those who suffer."

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