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Syncope and Falls in the Elderly (SAFE) Center

Our Mission   

The SAFE Program mission is to determine factors that set the stage for decline in brain function and loss of independence in older adults. We study the mechanisms by which clinical, environmental and hereditary factors lead to age-related disorders, abnormalities in systemic regulation and functional decline in older adults.

Our main focus is to understand how age and age-related disorders like diabetes, stroke and obesity influence brain structure, blood flow and activation and how these changes in the brain lead to cognitive and motor impairments. We design and conduct clinical trials to promote successful aging and independence of older people.  



  • International Seminar of Health Research: In June 2013, Dr. Vera Novak presented a session on the effects of diabetes in accelerating brain age at the International Seminar of Health Research in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
  • Outstanding Student Paper Award: Dr. Azizah Jor'dan received the Outstanding Student Paper Award in the Developmental Perspectives: Motor Control, Coordination, Rehabilitation by the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity.
  • Bioengineering Collaboration: Dr. Vera Novak is collaborating with a bioengineering research team at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand to develop a model of whole brain blood supply.
  • Junior Investigator Travel Award: Dr. Jor'dan received The Gerontological Society of America's 2012 Aging, the Central Nervous System, and Mobility in Older Adults Travel Award for Junior Investigators and presented her abstract "The Impact of Cerebral Vasoreactivity on Gait Speed in Older Adults With and Without Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus" at the workshop.
  • Outstanding Young Researcher Award: Dr. Manor received the 2012 Outstanding Young Researcher Award from the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation.


Our sponsors include the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institute on Kidney Disorders and Diabetes (NIDDK), American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Department of Defense, the Harvard Catalyst, TEKES-Finland, Industry sponsored trials and the National Science Foundation of China.

Contact Information

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
812 Stoneman
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-1777 or 617-632-8680