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The BIDMC Gerontology Division was established in 1976 to support a core faculty of geriatricians and gerontologists committed to the advancement of knowledge about aging and to the improvement of health care for older people. The Gerontology Division's clinical and research faculty are located at two sites, the BIDMC Boston campus and Hebrew SeniorLife's (HSL) campus, 4 miles away. Research Faculty also span both sites; those at HSL hold appointments in the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR). IFAR is one of the nation's leading clinical research centers in gerontology. Currently supported by over $46 million of government grants and contracts, IFAR is among the top 10% of research institutions in the receiving NIH grants.

The Institute for Aging Research (IFAR)

IFAR is an independent, multidisciplinary research institute devoted to improving the quality of life and health for elderly people. It supports a faculty of 14 medical and social scientists, 4 postdoctoral fellows, and a Vice President for Research Administration. Faculty members are actively involved in research, health care delivery, and the education of physicians, nurses, therapists, and graduate students interested in geriatrics, gerontology, and health care services. Active areas of research include: geriatric syndromes such as falls, fractures, osteoporosis, pain, depression, and delirium; Alzheimer's disease and related disorders; palliative care; functional assessment methodology and models of long-term care; the cost and quality of housing and community-based service systems; and the development of instruments to measure quality of life, mental health, and functional outcomes. Geriatric Medicine Fellows from HMS have staff appointments at HSL, where they learn the medical management of institutionalized elderly, and have the opportunity to conduct research projects with Institute faculty. An important resource of the HSL Institute for Aging Research is the NIA-funded Research Nursing Home (RNH) Program Project, which has been funded for 25 years. The intent of the RNH is to focus attention on the investigation of clinical problems relevant to the care of the disabled elderly. Currently, this program project grant, led by Dr. Lipsitz, supports a large investigation of the mechanisms and management of falls in a representative community-based population of 800 seniors.

The Division of Gerontology is conducting research in the following areas:

Basic Research

  • Mitochondrial Function

Clinical Research

  • Delirium
  • End of Life Care
  • Falls, Syncope and Blood Pressure Regulation
  • Home Care
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pain Assessment and Management
  • Physical Function and Disability

Physiological Research

  • Cardiovascular and Cardiopulmonary Physiology
  • Cerebrovascular Physiology and Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Syncope and Falls
  • Blood Pressure Regulation

Contact Information

Division of Gerontology
Department of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Lowry Medical Office Building #1B (West Campus)
110 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02215