Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging at CSU

A catalyst for interdisciplinary research and evidence-based outreach to improve lifespan and healthspan.

Three core activities:

  • Interdisciplinary Research into Basic and Translational Mechanisms that Promote Healthy Aging
  • Educational Opportunities for Undergraduate, Graduate Student, and Postdoctoral Training
  • Engagement with the Community for Programs that Support Healthy Aging
interdisciplinary team science, bridge to rapid translation, novel treatments or interventions, and community engagement

People in general are living longer and that is great news, but it also creates a need for addressing critical challenges related to age-related diseases and disabilities. Even more important, it challenges us to consider ways to promote successful, healthy aging so people can live the healthiest and most productive lives.

The Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging, launched with a generous $5 million gift from Bob and Kitty Wilson, owners of Columbine Health Systems, addresses these challenges by serving as a catalyst for interdisciplinary research, education, and community engagement around cutting-edge issues involved in healthy and successful aging.

The Center unites current expertise and active research programs at CSU in the biological and psychological/sociological aspects of healthy aging, basic and translational science, and integration of animal and human models of aging. True to CSU’s land-grant heritage, a significant focus of activity involves community engagement and the translation of scientific discoveries to programs and policies that support successful aging.

The Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging houses an integrated suite of offices and lab spaces for faculty who are engaging in cutting-edge research on biological, cognitive, psychological, social, and behavioral factors that lead to healthy and successful aging. The Center leverages and brings together extensive existing research on aging at the university, and offers new opportunities for research and community programs.

CSU has a long history of aging-related research, and this beautiful new center provides a collaborative, state-of-the-art space to bring successful researchers together from across disciplines to work toward innovative solutions that support healthy and successful aging. The Center provides an environment in which cross-disciplinary research can take place and innovative ideas can more easily flourish.

In addition to research activities, part of the mission of the Center is to offer evidence-based outreach services. Please visit the Aging Clinic of the Rockies website to learn more about neuropsychological testing and counseling services for older adults and their families.

The Center reports to the Vice President for Research and a board represented by the deans of the Colleges of Health and Human Sciences, Natural Sciences, Engineering, and Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Nicole Ehrhart

Nicole Ehrhart, V.M.D
Director, Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging
Dr. Ehrhart is the Director of Colorado State University’s Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging and a Full Professor in Clinical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. She holds the Ross M Wilkins MD Limb Preservation Foundation University Chair in Musculoskeletal Biology and Oncology. She is the Director of the Laboratory of Comparative Musculoskeletal Oncology and Traumatology and has been involved in limb preservation research, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and cancer research for the last twenty years. She is actively engaged in translational aging research to improve health and lifespan for aging patients-both human and canine- and she focuses on comparative medicine as a powerful tool to bring new therapeutic strategies to slow aging.
She holds joint faculty positions in Colorado State University’s School of Biomedical Engineering, Cell and Molecular Biology program, and the University of Colorado Gates Regenerative Medicine Center and University of Colorado Cancer Center. In addition to her leadership roles in many prestigious national and international scientific organizations (ACVS, VSSO, VOS, WVOC), Dr Ehrhart was also the first woman to be granted a University-level Endowed University Chair at Colorado State University.